Rugby: Wesley and UCD star Van der Flier is voted World’s best

by Aaron Dunne
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Ireland and Leinster loose forward, and former Wesley College and UCD star Josh van der Flier’s outstanding season was rewarded when he was crowned as the men’s World Rugby Player of Year for 2022. 

The 29-year-old received his award at the world governing body’s awards ceremony in Monaco on Sunday evening.

Van der Flier has been in excellent form this year and played a leading role for Ireland during their historic 2-1 series victory over the All Blacks in New Zealand and also helped his country to the number one position in World Rugby’s official rankings list.

The openside flanker beat off stiff competition from his Ireland and Leinster team-mate Johnny Sexton – who won the award in 2018 – South Africa’s Lukhanyo Am and France’s Antoine Dupont, who was last year’s victor.

Van der Flier was ever-present for Ireland in 2022 as he started in all of their Tests and scored four tries for his country.

“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have great teammates and coaches that have really pushed me on, as well as my wife and my family supported me a huge amount..

“I’m lucky to have some very experienced, top quality players and especially in my position both in Ireland and in Leinster, so I’ve always felt I’ve needed to be playing at my best the whole time or I wouldn’t be playing, so that’s certainly driven me on.”

Feature Image: Josh van der Flier in action for Wesley College against Templeogue College in 2011.

Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

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