The Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies have celebrated their 2023 season at the club’s annual Brett Robinson and Helen Taylor awards night, with James Slipper and Tabua Tuinakauvadra taking top honours.
Slipper claimed his first Brett Robinson Players’ Player of the Year award after a standout season in his fifth year in the nation’s capital.
A pillar of consistency and leadership, Slipper played 13 games in 2023, a memorable try-double against the NSW Waratahs in round six capping a vintage season for the 34-year-old.
Slipper’s commitment to the Brumbies values and ethos was also recognised with the Christian Lealiifano Spirit of the Brumbies award.
A product of the Brumbies pathways program, Tuinakauvadra took great strides in her young career in what was her second season in the Brumbies Super W squad.
Tuinakauvadra joined the international ranks following the Brumbies season, coming off the bench in the Wallaroos most-recent test against Canada.
Faitala Moleka also made her Wallaroos debut this year, the Sydney University star’s role steering the Brumbies Super W attack in her first season reflected with the Super W young talent award.
The coveted Shawn Mackay Young Talent Award fittingly went to Sevens convert Corey Toole, who lit up Super Rugby Pacific in his first year in the senior group.
Toole’s stellar season was also recognised by the Brumbies coaching staff with the Best Back award, brusing backrower Rob Valetini taking the Best Forward gong.
Valetini was also chosen as the Member’s Player of the Year, with captain Siokapesi Palu taking the Member’s choice award for Brumbies Super W.
Laurie Fisher was honoured with Garry Quinlivan Service to Rugby Award, his legendary 26-year association with the Brumbies coming to an end this year.
Ash Fernandez and Harry Vella were well-deserved winners of the Community Engagement Award, with Massimo De Lutiis claiming the Graham Gordon Memorial Trophy for Best and Fairest U20s player.
Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies CEO, Phil Thomson said: “On behalf of everyone in the organisation, I’d like to congratulate all of our winners tonight and thank our players, staff and volunteers for their steadfast commitment to the organisation this year.”
“It’s fantastic for us to be able to come together with our national representatives back in Canberra for the end of season awards, and we wish them well for their test campaigns to follow.”
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
Brett Robinson Players’ Player Award: JAMES SLIPPER
Helen Taylor Super W Player of the Year: TABUA TUINAKAUVADRA
Christian Lealiifano Spirit of the Brumbies: JAMES SLIPPER
Super W Most Outstanding Young Player: FAITALA MOLEKA
Shawn Mackay Most Outstanding Young Talent Award: COREY TOOLE
Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies Best back: COREY TOOLE
Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies Best forward: ROB VALETINI
Community Engagement Award: ASH FERNANDEZ AND HARRY VELLA
Graham Gordon Memorial Trophy for Best and Fairest U20s Payer: MASSIMO DE LUTIIS
Garry Quinlivan Service to Rugby Award: LAURIE FISHER