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New Zealand 08:35 Australia

New Zealand's Tim Mikkelson named IRB Sevens Player of the Year

Last Updated: 01/07/13 11:24am

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Tim Mikkelson: IRB Sevens Player of the Year

Tim Mikkelson: IRB Sevens Player of the Year

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New Zealand's Tim Mikkelson has been named the IRB Sevens Player of the Year.

Mikkelson saw off the challenge of England's Dan Norton and Fiji's Joji Raqamate to become the 10th recipient of the men's award, and the fifth New Zealander.

He follows in the footsteps of compatriots Orene Ai'i (2005), Afeleke Pelenise (2007), DJ Forbes (2008) and Tomasi Cama (2012).

Mikkelson was New Zealand's most influential and consistent performer as they won the HSBC Sevens World Series and he scored two tries in the 33-0 win over England in Moscow on Sunday as New Zealand claimed the World Cup Sevens title for the first time since 2001.

"It's a real honour to receive this award and I accept it on behalf of the team," said Mikkelson.

"A couple of my team-mates have won this award, which makes it really special. We've had a really good season and so I accept this on behalf of the team."

New Zealand completed a double as Kayla McAlister also won IRB Women's Sevens Player of the Year award after playing a starring role in her side's golden season, in which they won both the first ever IRB Women's Sevens World Series and the Rugby World Cup Sevens.

McAlister saw off the challenge of Canada's Jennifer Kish and Netherlands' Kelly van Harskamp to become the first player to claim the honour.

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