- Staniford impressed in XVs and Sevens
- Second IRB award for the Wasps wing
England's Michaela Staniford has today been named the IRB Women's Player of the Year, the prestigious Award that recognises excellence on the field of play.
Staniford was presented with the award by Rugby Football Union Chairman Bill Beaumont after England's 32-23 win over New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday, a victory which took them to their first ever 3-0 series clean sweep over the Black Ferns.
The achievement caps a stellar year for the versatile 25-year old wing who has impressed playing for her country at the very highest level in both XVs and Sevens.
Staniford was named best player of the IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup series earlier this year having impressed across all three tournaments, and she bagged five tries in three appearances as England claimed a seventh successive Women’s Six Nations title.
Photo: Getty Images
On receiving the Award, Staniford said: "I am delighted to be receiving this prestigious award, which is as much a reflection of the achievements of the England Sevens and Fifteens squads in 2012 as it is of my own personal journey. To receive this award in front of our home fans at Twickenham after a Series victory against New Zealand, is really, really special. It caps a wonderful year."
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Women's Rugby is going from strength to strength around the world and the high standard of international competition makes the IRB Women's Player of the Year award exceptionally competitive.
"Michaela has consistently demonstrated on the world's biggest stages with England in XVs and Sevens that she is a stand-out performer and thoroughly deserves this prestigious award."