A scintillating try scored by South Africa centre Jaque Fourie against the British & Irish Lions has been named the International Rugby Players Association Try of the Year 2009.
The Springbok fought off stiff competition from some of the biggest names in the game to claim the prestigious award after the global rugby community selected his try from a shortlist of 15 in an online vote on the IRB website. Nearly 8,000 votes were cast in the process.
Fourie's try, scored in the 74th minute of the nail-biting encounter in Pretoria in June, sealed a dramatic Series victory for the Springboks, who went on to be named IRB Team of the Year in association with Emirates Airline and demonstrated superb control, team work and skills before the centre squeezed over in the corner.
Fourie, who was presented with his award after the Stormers versus Otago Highlanders Super 14 match in Cape Town on Saturday, said that the accolade was recognition of the superb team ethic within the Springboks squad.
"It is fantastic to win this award and I am honoured to receive it. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote online. This try demonstrates the value of team work and working for each other to achieve something very special, and made it such a privilege to be part of the Sprinboks team and the Lions Series last summer," said Jaque Fourie.
Shane Williams (2), Vincent Clerc, Jamie Heaslip, Mils Muliaina, Isaac Ross, Ma'a Nonu, Cedric Heymans, Rob Kearney, Berrick Barnes, Imanol Harinordoquy, Lee Byrne, Gonzalo Camacho and Alexander Yanyushkin were scorers of the other shortlisted tries.
Fourie follows in the fleeted footsteps of Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll who scooped the award in 2008 and Takudzwa Ngwenya of the USA who claimed the inaugural award in 2007. - Sapa