Rieko Ioane has been awarded Breakthrough Player of Year at the 2017 World Rugby Awards held in Monaco.
Ioane was also a nominee for the Player of the Year award which was given to All Blacks and Hurricanes player Beauden Barrett.
The fast and strapping midfield back or wing signed for the Blues for 2016 while still at school, joining his older brother Akira Ioane at the club.
Rieko was on the Blues radar for some years, both at Auckland Grammar School and part of the Blues Under-17 and Under-18 Development Squads. He earned national recognition and captained the New Zealand Secondary Schools team to victory over Fiji and Australia in 2014.
In January 2015, Rieko was selected to join his brother in the NZ Sevens, contributing two tries in the win over England in the final of the Wellington tournament.
Rieko played five times for the Blues in his debut season before joining the All Black Sevens to represent New Zealand at the Rio Olympics.
He has been outstanding for Auckland in the Mitre-10 Cup, with two hat-tricks of tries, and was selected for the All Blacks end of year tour.
Watch the video below of Rieko’s 2017 game highlights.
2017 World Rugby Award Winners
Breakthrough Player of the Year – Rieko Ioane (NZL)
Men’s Player of the Year – Beauden Barrett (NZL)
Women’s Player of the Year – Portia Woodman (NZL)
Team of the Year – Black Ferns
Coach of the Year – Eddie Jones (ENG)
World Rugby Referee Award – Joy Neville (IRE)
Try of the Year – Joaquin Tuculet (ARG)
Men’s Sevens Player of the Year – Perry Baker (USA)
Women’s Sevens Player of the Year – Michaela Blyde (NZL)
IRPA Special Merit Award – Richie McCaw (NZL) and Rachael Burford (ENG)