Carter is Named Top League MVP

TOKYO (Dec. 16) – A day after helping his team to the league title, Dan Carter was named Sunday as the Japan Rugby Top League MVP.

The Kobe Kobelco Steelers playmaker was also named Top Kicker with an 86.2 percent success rate as he wrapped up his first season in Japan in style.

“It’s a really proud moment for someone that has had such a long career and is getting to the end of my career,” Carter said.

“But that’s not why I play the game. I play to try and benefit my team and help them win titles. It’s not about individual awards like this. But at the same time it’s nice to know the hard work and sacrifice that I have put in this year has been recognized.”

Kobe’s success was also reflected in the All-Star XV with six Steelers included in the side, which like all the other awards, bar the MVP, was voted on for performances during the pool stage of the league.

Prop Hiroshi Yamashita, lock Tom Franklin, No. 8 Isileli Nakajima, scrumhalf Andy Ellis and the center pairing of Adam Ashley-Cooper and Richard Buckman were all honored.

Four Panasonic Wild Knights players were included in the side in prop Keita Inagaki, hooker Atsushi Sakate, flyhalf Takuya Yamasawa and wing Kenki Fukuoka.

The other forwards named were Ricoh Blacks Rams lock Mike Broadhurst, Toshiba Brave Lupus flanker Michael Leitch and Yamaha Jubilo flanker Kwagga Smith, while the other backs chosen were Lomano Lava Lemeki (Honda Heat) and Gio Aplon (Toyota Verblitz).

Lemeki finished the pool stage as the top try scorer with eight, Toyota Industries Shuttles’ Sam Greene was the top points scorer with 68 and Verblitz wing Yuki Okada was named Rookie of the Year.