Ospreys wing Tommy Bowe has been named Six Nations player of the championship, meaning the Magners League has now had the best player in the tournament for five years in a row.
The 26-year-old becomes the third Magners League player to be given the accolade since the award’s inception in 2006, following in the footsteps of 2008 winner Shane Williams and three-times victor Brian O’Driscoll.
Bowe scored three tries in what was ultimately a disappointing championship for 2009 Grand Slam winners Ireland as he cemented his reputation as one of the finest wingers in world rugby.
And, although his country failed to live up to their billing as pre-tournament favourites, Bowe admitted that the award was a consolation of sorts.
“It has been a Championship of mixed emotions for the Irish team but to be named the RBS Player of the Championship is a fantastic way to end what has been an exciting year for the RBS 6 Nations,” said Bowe.
“The tournament is always enjoyable and fantastic for rugby fans across Europe with some sensational, competitive rugby produced year after year.
“To be voted RBS Player of the Championship by the fans is a huge compliment and I thank them for taking the time to vote.”
The Player of the Championship was decided as a result of a public vote after a panel of former internationals from all six nations submitted their top-three nominations.
A shortlist of six nominees was compiled, with Williams again among the list of outstanding candidates.
Bowe received more than 50 percent of the vote, in comparison to the near 30 percent O’Driscoll polled 12 months ago.
Along with Williams, the other nominees were all Frenchmen in No8 Imanol Harinordoquy, scrum-half Morgan Parra, skipper Thierry Dusautoir and powerhouse centre Mathieu Bastareaud.