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Koroibete clinches second John Eales Medal as Wallabies' best player

Star Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete has clinched his second John Eales Medal as Australia’s best rugby player despite only playing nine Tests in 2022.

Japan-based speedster Koroibete became the sixth Wallaby to win the award on multiple occasions, having first won it in 2019.

Voted by the players after each Test match, Koroibete polled 202 votes to edge out backrower Rob Valetini (170 votes) and prop Allan Alaalatoa (168 votes).

The 30-year-old, who switched from the NRL to rugby union in 2017, was the stand-out in Australia’s losing Test series against England before also impressing with his work-rate through the Rugby Championship.

Koroibete didn’t play on the Wallabies’ Spring tour to Europe and the UK but had already accrued enough votes in the first nine Tests of the year to secure the medal.

He joins George Smith, Nathan Sharpe, Michael Hooper, Israel Folau and David Pocock as players who have won the award more than once.

“It’s an honour to be awarded the 2022 John Eales Medal, especially in a season where so many players played well in the Wallabies jersey,” the Fiji-born flyer said in a statement.

“Rugby is a team sport first and foremost, so I’d like to thank my teammates and to know they were the ones who voted for me to win this award means a lot.

Former Wallabies skipper John Eales AM, who played 86 Tests, lauded Koroibete’s consistency.

“Marika’s consistency in attack and defence has become a feature of the Wallabies since his debut,” Eales said.

“He combines passion and skill in the perfect measure.”