Rugby Canada held its annual Award Dinner at the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver on Thursday evening. A total of 14 awards were handed out in a ceremony that also presented the inaugural inductees into the newly-formed Rugby Canada Hall of Fame. Among the big winners on the evening were Newcastle Falcons second row Evan Olmstead who took home the Senior Men’s Player of the Year award, while utility forward Laura Russell took home the top prize for the Senior Women.
Taking home the honours for Men’s and Women’s Sevens Players of the Year respectively were Nathan Hirayama and Olympic star Kayla Moleschi. Another Olympic attendee, referee Rose LaBrèche, was a repeat winner of top Canadian Match Official. Young Player awards went to Sophie de Goede and Conor Keys, while this year’s top coaches were John Daggett and Jen Boyd.
Newfoundland union secretary and chief multi-tasker Roxanne Butler was named Volunteer of the Year. Peer-voted awards went to Julianne Zussman and Ray Barkwill, and a special Chairman’s Award going to New Brunswick’s Malcolm MacAfee for more than four decades of contributions to Canadian rugby.
Senior Men’s Player of the Year — Evan Olmstead
Men’s Sevens Player of the Year — Nathan Hirayama
Senior Women’s Player of the Year — Laura Russell
Women’s Sevens Player of the Year — Kayla Moleschi
Young Female Player of the Year — Sophie de Goede
Young Male Player of the Year — Conor Keys
Match Official of the Year — Rose LaBreche
Volunteer of the Year — Roxanne Butler
Provincial Union of the Year — Saskatchewan Rugby Union
Coach of the Year Male — John Daggett
Coach of the Year female — Jen Boyd
Gillian Florence Award — Julianne Zussman
Canadian Shield Award — Ray Barkwill
Chairman’s Award – Malcolm MacAfee