Marcell Coetzee’s peers have voted the Springbok loose forward as the top player in the PRO14 for the 2020-21 season.
It’s a fitting end to Coetzee’s five-year stint at Ulster where he helped the Irish regional team to a 14-2 record this season, sharing first place on the try-scorers list with nine, making the most offloads in the competition and completing 95% of 105 attempted tackles.
Each team captain and vice-captain cast their ballots to award the 30-Test Bok loosie who follows previous winners Duhan van der Merwe, Bill Mata, Tadhg Beirne, Charles Piutau and Bundee Aki.
Coetzee was also voted into the PRO14 Dream Team selected by the media, lining up at No 8 while fellow Bok Damien de Allende was named to partner Scotland’s Huw Jones in an all-UCT midfield combination.
The injury-plagued, 29-year-old flank is set to link up with the Vodacom Bulls in July and will have his heart set on staying healthy long enough to claim a regular place in the Bok squad.
PRO14 Dream Team
15 Michael Lowry (Ulster)
14 Alex Wootton (Connacht)
13 Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors)
12 Damien de Allende (Munster)
11 Dave Kearney (Leinster)
10 Jack Carty (Connacht)
9 John Cooney (Ulster)
8 Marcell Coetzee (Ulster)
7 Scott Penny (Leinster)
6 Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues)
5 Gavin Thornbury (Connacht)
4 Billy Holland (Munster)
3 Michael Bent (Leinster)
2 Kevin O’Byrne (Munster)
1 Eric O’Sullivan (Ulster)