Johannesburg – Springbok lock Franco van der Merwe was named the 2013 Player of the Year at the annual Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) awards on Tuesday evening.
Van der Merwe made his Springbok debut against New Zealand in the final match of the Rugby Championship in October.
He was awarded a commemorative GLRU blazer after celebrating 100 caps for the Golden Lions in the same month.
Ellis Park played host to the evening, where several individuals were honoured for their 2013 performances and achievements.
Prop Jacques van Rooyen, who made his first-class debut for the Lions this season, walked away with the Most Improved Player-of-the-Year award.
Loose forward Jaco Kriel was named the Players' Player of the Year, while Currie Cup captain Derick Minnie took home the Forward Player-of-the-Year award.
Minnie was also acknowledged for reaching the 50-match milestone in the Golden Lions jersey earlier this year.
Loose forward Willie Britz was named as the inaugural Supporters' Player-of-the-Year, after over 2000 votes were cast by fans via the GLRU website.
Lions flyer Anthony Volmink walked away with the Backline Player-of-the-Year award.
GLRU award winners:
Most Improved Player of the Year – Jacques van Rooyen
Players' Player of the Year – Jaco Kriel
Supporters' Player of the Year – Willie Britz
Forward Player of the Year – Derick Minnie
Backline Player of the Year – Anthony Volmink
Player of the Year – Franco van der Merwe
Player of the Year – Ruaan Lerm
Forward Player of the Year – Steph de Wit
Backline Player of the Year – Marais Schmidt
Player of the Year – Cyle Brink
Forward Player of the Year – Malcolm Marx
Backline Player of the Year – Koch Marx – Sapa