The International Rugby Board has announced New Zealand's Tim Mikkelson as the IRB Sevens Player of the Year, in association with HSBC.
Mikkelson saw off the challenge of England's Dan Norton and Fiji's Joji Raqamate to become the 10th recipient of the men's award, and the fifth New Zealander.
He follows in the footsteps of countrymen Orene Ai'i (2005), Afeleke Pelenise (2007), DJ Forbes (2008) and Tomasi Cama (2012).
In a season during which New Zealand were once again the most consistent side, winning the HSBC Sevens World Series and Rugby World Cup Sevens, Mikkelson was undeniably their most influential and consistent performer.
Regarded by coach, Sir Gordon Tietjens, as the fittest member of his squad, Mikkelson was an ever-present throughout the season, playing in both the forwards and the backs and also stepping in as captain at the end of the season to lift the World Series trophy.
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Giles Morgan, Group Head of Sponsorship & Events, HSBC Holdings plc commented: “Congratulations to Tim Mikkelson on being voted the IRB Sevens Player of the Year. It was good to watch him during this year’s HSBC Sevens World Series, and to see him lift the Series trophy at the end of such an exciting season.
"In the three years HSBC have been involved as title sponsor we have seen fantastic growth and the players are a key part of the success of the Series so it’s great to see Tim awarded for his efforts this year. We are looking forward to another great Series in 2013/14, kicking off in Australia in October, and to seeing all the players return for another fantastic year."
IRB Sevens Player of the Year
2004 Simon Amor, England
2005 Orene Ai'i, New Zealand
2006 Uale Mai, Samoa
2007 Afeleke Pelenise, New Zealand
2008 DJ Forbes, New Zealand
2009 Ollie Phillips, England
2010 Mikaele Pesamino, Samoa
2011 Cecil Afrika, South Africa
2012 Tomasi Cama, New Zealand
2013 Tim Mikkelson, New Zealand
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