Irish Rugby |  Van Der Flier feels “very honored and grateful” to join the Elite group

Irish Rugby | Van Der Flier feels “very honored and grateful” to join the Elite group

Van der Flier added to his already spectacular listing of particular person accolades this 12 months, edging out his captain Jonathan Sexonwinner 2021 Antoine Dupont from France, and central South Africa Lukhanyo Am for the distinguished world honour.

He can have a number of days off, together with a long-awaited return to the golf course, earlier than getting caught with Leinster for some large BKT United Rugby Championship video games and the beginning of their Heineken Champions Cup marketing campaign.

Talking the day after the awards ceremony held in Monaco’s Salle des Etoiles, the modest man from Wicklow mentioned: “Despite the fact that I knew I used to be nominated, actually I did not not likely understanding (that I gained the prize), however feeling very honoured.

“I am very grateful, I suppose, for the staff I have been fortunate sufficient to be a part of, the Irish staff, and for all the pieces we have carried out this 12 months.

“They confirmed a spotlight reel for the nominees, all my essays had been put collectively by another person or it was maul essays the place everybody did all the remainder of the work and I I simply put the ball down.

“It has been a kind of seasons the place I’ve had it on the finish of some, the rebounding of the ball has been my means.

“It was fairly cool to be nominated alongside Lukhanyo, Antoine and Johnny as nicely. It was a really particular second to be introduced because the winner.

Van der Flier has been extremely constant in his performances for each Leinster and Eire in 2022, a lot so that he’s now each the reigning World Rugby and Europe’s Participant of the Yr. EPCR – a feat that Dupont had not achieved earlier than, barely twelve months in the past. .

The enduring 29-year-old flanker performed each minute of the 2022 Guinness Six Nations race in Eire, scoring tries in opposition to France and within the decisive recreation in opposition to Scotland.

He was additionally ubiquitous within the quantity 7 shirt as by Andy Farrel the boys gained a historic collection in New Zealand, solely giving themselves the final eight minutes of the final check.

He picked up his third strive of the calendar 12 months in these memorable victories in Wellington and helped Eire to a hat-trick of Southern Hemisphere Large Three scalps within the begin in opposition to South Africa and Eire. Australia within the Financial institution of Eire Nations Collection.

Exhausting-earned success in opposition to the Springboks was marked by van der Flier’s fourth worldwide tally of 2022. His 26 tackles in opposition to the Wallabies additionally performed an important function within the Irish protection underneath immense stress.

He sees loads of room for enchancment heading into the 2023 Six Nations, saying: “It is clearly an thrilling time, the November collection went nicely. The win in opposition to Australia gave us three wins out of three, which was superior.

Possibly they weren’t the very best performances, however we managed to win, which is clearly very encouraging.

“On the subject of Six Nations, one of many issues we are saying as a gaggle is to try to preserve enhancing. Coaches attempt to push so much, coaches anticipate very excessive requirements.

“I feel the gamers even have a variety of excessive requirements. Clearly we’ll attempt to do our greatest within the Six Nations. Like all the opposite groups, we’ll attempt to win it.

It’s really a case of laborious work that’s paying off for van der Flier by way of his wealthy vein of present type. He is had a number of setbacks alongside the way in which, together with his ACL damage in 2018, they usually’ve actually motivated him to get essentially the most out of his recreation.

Nonetheless famous as a basic tackler and a dynamic workhorse of a participant on the pitch, he reworked into a way more environment friendly ball provider, including selection to his carry and extra energy on contact with outcomes spectacular.

This time final 12 months, Eire head coach Farrell, praising van der Flier’s ever-improving shows, felt that “one thing clicked with Josh when Does Connors had simply entered the scene.

The person himself acknowledged that tonight when speaking about managing to mix features of his recreation higher than he has prior to now and “getting extra general efficiency”.

“I suppose if I had to have a look at a interval that positively kickstarted me, it was two years in the past now after I was not picked for sure video games with Leinster. Will Connors was beginning, he was enjoying brilliantly.

I used to be additionally not chosen for sure Irish matches. I used to be sort of out and in of the staff. I noticed, I imply I am at all times making an attempt to enhance, however I used to be like, ‘I’ve to enhance my recreation or I will not play for Leinster or Eire’.

It was positively one thing that pushed me. I in all probability managed to get combine final 12 months or so of the totally different components of my recreation that had been good over a number of years, I simply managed to get some efficiency on the weekends.

“As issues fell into place I suppose I managed to remain match and received some rebounds off the ball and clearly I used to be in an important Leinster staff and a really, superb Irish staff. “

It was a memorable night for Irish rugby on the World Rugby Awards on the French Riviera, with Terry Kennedy crowned World Rugby 7s Player of the Yearand van der Flier, Sexton, Tadhg Furlong and Tadhg Beirne chosen within the Dream Group Males 15 years outdated.

Having had the possibility to talk with among the former World Rugby Gamers of the Yr, and with the countdown to the Rugby World Cup nicely and really underway, the Leinster again rower needs to ensure Eire continues on an upward curve in 2023.

“Group success is what you need on the finish of the day. Even chatting and rubbing shoulders with all of the gamers that had been at that awards occasion – I used to be sitting at a desk with individuals like Dan Carter, Bryan Habana, Conrad Smith…all these greats of the sport.

“Discussing with them, it positively pushes you to not make it a one-off season that’s going very nicely. You take a look at legends of the sport like them who’ve been enjoying at this highest stage for about 15 years.

“In order that’s positively going to get me going.” For sure, the way in which we had been pushed by the coaches in Eire to carry out and attempt to enhance, I feel you have in all probability seen it within the particular person performances in addition to the staff performances.

“It is actually promising, (simply) trying to enhance and hopefully we’ll have a number of extra individuals on the Dream Group subsequent 12 months.”

It is a measure of van der Flier’s stature as the newest World Rugby Participant of the Yr that gamers of the caliber of Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Paul O’Connell and Jamie Heaslip had been nominated and by no means gained the award.

He’s solely the third Irishman to win skilled rugby’s highest particular person honour, following within the footsteps of Keith Woodenthe primary winner in 2001, and Sexton who was chosen following Eire’s Grand Slam triumph in 2018.

To be up there now with nationwide captains, report breakers and World Cup winners, van der Flier is nicely conscious of the enormity of all of it given how intently he has adopted the awards throughout his years. of college.

“I keep in mind in school I knew by coronary heart, yearly, who had gained the World Participant of the Yr award,” mentioned the Wesley Faculty alumnus.

“I might say that for those who had requested me as we speak, I may have mentioned it too! It is actually loopy to be up there with them (Wooden and Sexton).

“Clearly it is a good second, however I’ve to assume it is due to the efficiency of the staff and clearly being a part of a successful staff for certain helps.”

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