ALL Blacks fly-half Dan Carter has been named the IRB Player of the Year for the second time.
Carter edged out Richie McCaw, No. 10 Owen Farrell and France's Frederic Michalak for the award.
The 30-year-old first received the honour in 2005 and becomes the only player other than McCaw to have received the prestigious award more than once.
The accolade completes a hat-trick of awards for New Zealand, as the All Blacks were named IRB Team of the Year for the sixth time and Steve Hansen the IRB Coach of the Year.
Carter, the leading points scorer in Test Rugby with 1385 in his 94 appearances to date, has bounced back in great style from the disappointment of missing the majority of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup-winning campaign through a groin injury.
Last month New Zealand celebrated its third anniversary as the No.1 team in the IRB World Rankings.
After an eight-year apprenticeship as Graham Henry's assistant, Hansen has seamlessly stepped up to the role of head coach and arguably taken the All Blacks on to even greater heights.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset presented McCaw with the Team Award and the Players' Award on Carter's behalf, while IRB vice-chairman Oregan Hoskins presented Hansen with the Coach Award.
"New Zealand have again been the standout team of the year with their 20-match unbeaten run and thoroughly deserve the IRB Team of the Year award along with Steve Hansen as IRB Coach of the Year for his feats in keeping a Rugby World Cup winning-team winning," Lapasset said at the ceremony held at the same time as the draw for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in London.
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