Ebullient loose forward Tom Robinson has been awarded the Mealamu Medal as the Blues club person of the year.
The Northlander, a fan favourite with his energetic displays and flaming long red hair, matched this with strong leadership off the field to earn the honour of Blues Club Person of the Year at the Blues Awards function.
The Mealamu Medal was established in 2015 to recognise Keven Mealamu’s considerable legacy at the club, and is awarded to the person based both on delivery of their core role at the club and also makes a positive and consistent contribution to the Club’s culture.
Meanwhile departing lock Gerard Cowley-Tuioti has celebrated his standout season for the Sky Super Rugby Trans-Tasman winners, voted the Players’ Player of the Year and the Blues Most Valuable Player, awarded to the player who consistently performed to the highest standard throughout the season.
The Blues were the best defensive team in the Super competition, and the standout Defence player of the year went to brilliant All Black loose forward, Dalton Papalii.
New All Black halfback Finlay Christie was voted the Back of the Year while Cowley-Tuioti earned the Forward of the Year honour.
In the development programme, standout fullback Zarn Sullivan was voted Blues Rookie of the Year while Northland midfielder Corey Evans, a New Zealand Under-20 representative, was awarded Development Player of the Year.
A key initiative this year was the first women’s game between Super clubs of the Blues and Chiefs, with Auckland’s Maiakawanakaulani Roos awarded Player of the Match.
A core component of the Blues club is their integral part in the community with Papalii and Harry Plummer earning the Community Awards for their commitment and passion to the Blues’ community initiatives, partnership activities and media engagements.
Blues chief executive Andrew Hore said the season had ended on the highest note with victory in the final of the Sky Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition but that the club had enjoyed significant progress both on and off the field.
Before the hard work begins for the 2022 season, Hore said it was fitting for players, coaches and staff to enjoy the awards evening to join in recognising outstanding performances and contributions.