Paul wins John Eales Medal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Paul wins John Eales Medal

14/10/2005 10:19:59 PM Comments (0)

Hooker Jeremy Paul ensured the John Eales Medal remained firmly in the grip of the forwards after being crowned the Wallaby player's player of the year on Friday night.

Paul, who has been rested from the coming spring tour of Europe because of a bulging disk in his neck, polled 194 votes from his peers over the course of 13 Tests.

He finished 18 votes clear of 2002 winner, flanker George Smith (176).

Backs occupied the nest three positions with five-eighth and inside centre Matt Giteau polling 132 votes, five-eighth Stephen Larkham (117) and fullback Chris Latham (115).

It was the first time in the four-year history of the medal it had not been won by a back rower.

Injury forced Paul out of Australia's last two Tri Nations matches, but he polled votes in the first 10 of the 11 Tests he played over the period covered by the award.

The mobile Brumbies hooker scored four Test tries in those games and his tally of 63 caps is the highest of any forward in the 2005 Wallaby squad.

All 22 Wallabies chosen for each Test cast votes on a 3-2-1 basis for the Medal, which covered last year's spring tour and all nine of this year's internationals.

Skipper and halfback George Gregan, whose form was the subject of intense scrutiny, finished down in 20th spot.

Past Wallaby captain and lock Eales presented the Medal to former team mate Paul at a black tie dinner at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion.

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