Hastings is player of year

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The Independent Online
Gavin Hastings, Scotland's captain, who retires after the World Cup, has been named Player of the Year in the Whitbread Flowers/Rugby World Awards.

Hastings takes the prize ahead of the candidates who featured in the England team which beat Scotland in the Grand Slam shoot-out two months ago.

England's honours go to Jack Rowell, who is named Coach of the Year after organising England's Grand Slam after winning the same award for his work at Bath in 1993. Mike Catt is named Most Promising Player, although he has already gone a long way to fulfilling that promise.

The International Player of the Year is South Africa's Francois Pienaar, who was a playing and public relations success on the Springbok's tour of Scotland and Wales last year.

Wales are featured with their champions, Cardiff, being named as Senior Club of the Year, while Derek Bevan is nominated Top Referee for the third time in four years. Bevan refereed the 1991 World Cup final and will be in charge of the opening match between Australia and South Africa in the World Cup later this month.

Another title awarded was for the Junior Club of the Year. which went to Worcester. There was an award for services to journalism, which was given to Terry Cooper, of the Press Association's Sports department.