Folau, the rugby league convert via AFL, beat out his captain Michael Hooper, forward James Slipper and centre Tevita Kuridrani to win the prize for best Wallabies player of the year.
It’s perhaps a slightly hollow win given the turmoil the team has been in with results on the park and drama off it, with Ewen McKenzie quitting as coach, but Folau’s numbers are nothing short of phenomenal.
He played every single minute of Australia’s 15 Tests up to last weekend’s narrow loss to the All Blacks.
He won players’ player just twice in all of those matches, but was among the votes in every match to streak the field for the top prize.
Folau was full of praise for his Waratahs coach Michael Cheika, who has been named to replace McKenzie for the Autumn Internationals starting on November 1 against the Barbarians in London.
“Without an overall performance from the team I wouldn’t be here. I just like the variety about what rugby brings, you’re always thinking throughout the 80 minutes,” Folau said.
“I’m hungry to learn and have had a great coach in Cheik. I’m honoured to have him on board at the Wallabies.
“On a personal note I want to be a consistent player and that’s what I strive to be every time I step on the field.”
Folau has the most tries with eight, the most tackles busts with 76, line breaks with 22, and 38 offloads.
He’s also just the fourth back in 13 years to have won the prize.
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