Staniford named IRB women's player of the year

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England's Michaela Staniford has been named the International Rugby Board Women's Player of the Year.

The 25-year-old winger received the award after England's 32-23 victory over New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday. Staniford was named best player of the IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup series earlier this year and she scored five tries in three appearances as England claimed a seventh successive Women's Six Nations title.

Staniford said: "I am delighted to be receiving this prestigious award, which is as much a reflection of the achievements of the England Sevens and Fifteens squads in 2012 as it is of my own personal journey. To receive this award in front of our home fans at Twickenham after a Series victory against New Zealand, is really, really special. It caps a wonderful year."

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Women's Rugby is going from strength to strength around the world and the high standard of international competition makes the IRB Women's Player of the Year award exceptionally competitive.

"Michaela has consistently demonstrated on the world's biggest stages with England in XVs and Sevens that she is a stand-out performer and thoroughly deserves this prestigious award."