Five years after winning his first John Eales Medal and 10 years after taking out the Rookie of the Year Award Qantas Wallabies forward, Nathan Sharpe, has been named the 2012 John Eales Medallist.
Australia’s most capped forward became just the second player in the history of the medal to be crowned for a second time joining George Smith, the man who he surpassed as the most capped Test forward in Australia’s history a few weeks ago.
In front of more than 400 people at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour, Sharpe polled 259 votes, 24 ahead of his nearest rival David Pocock and 88 ahead of last year’s Under 20s Player of the Year, Michael Hooper.
The John Eales Medal is presented to the player considered by his peers to be the most outstanding contributor over the previous 12-month period.
Votes are cast on a 3-2-1 basis by each member of the 22-man Qantas Wallabies squad after every Test played during the voting period.
The 2012 John Eales Medal was decided over 19 Tests – seven from last year’s Rugby World Cup, the stand alone Test against Wales in December, the four June Tests, six Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship Tests and the third and final Bledisloe Cup Test of 2012.
Sharpe (259 votes) polled votes in 15 of the 19 Tests and came home strongly to take the award from the 2011 John Eales Medallist, David Pocock (235), this year’s Rookie of the Year winner, Michael Hooper (171) and Qantas Wallabies playmaker Berrick Barnes (160).
The awarding of the 2012 John Eales Medal caps off an incredible career for the 112-Test veteran who has also received the 2002 Rookie of the Year Award and was crowned the John Eales Medallist in 2007 .