Sydney – Wallaby winger Nick Cummins on Wednesday upstaged Israel Folau and Michael Hooper to be voted the Australian players' player of the year.
The 26-year-old won the Medal of Excellence for his blistering form on the Wallabies' recent European tour, his perseverance after an injury-hampered Super Rugby season and his charity work.
The medal recognises not only on-field performances but also an individual's contribution to the community, the Australian Rugby Union said.
Openside flanker Hooper had been favoured to take the title after recently winning the prestigious John Eales Medal.
The other finalists Folau and fellow Wallabies playmaker Christian Lealiifano were upstaged by Cummins, who becomes the fourth consecutive winner from Western Force after David Pocock (2010) and Nathan Sharpe (2011 and 2012). – Sapa-AFP