The Springbok trio were among five South Africans who were honoured at the annual World Rugby Awards, which took place in Monaco on Sunday.
Former Springbok wing Bryan Habana, who scored 67 tries in 124 Tests and was a Rugby World Cup winner in 2007, received the International Rugby Players Special Merit Award, while former Test referee Tappe Henning, who nowadays works with the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, was given the World Rugby Referee Award.
Am, who was nominated in the category for World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year in partnership with Mastercard, was in superb form for the Springboks and the Cell C Sharks in 2022, before an unfortunate injury on tour in Australia cut short his season.
Forming a superb midfield partnership with Am for the Springboks, De Allende has impressed with his strong running, great distribution and excellent defence in 2022, while Marx has been a powerhouse in the Bok pack, whether he started at hooker or made an impact off the bench, impressing with his strong running, superb basics and ball-stealing abilities on the ground.
For Am and Marx, it's the second successive year that they have made the World Rugby Dream Team.
Ireland, with four players in the Dream Team including World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year, Josh van der Flier, had the biggest representation in the composite side, followed by South Africa with three.
New Zealand, England and France each have two players in the team, while Australia and Argentina provided one each.
SA Rugby president Mr Mark Alexander congratulated Am, De Allende, Marx, Habana and Henning for their recognition at Sunday night’s Awards in Monaco.
“We are very proud of these men and their achievements at the World Rugby awards,” said Mr Alexander.
“This awards ceremony celebrates the cream of the crop in the game of rugby, and to have five South Africans feature in the respective categories is a massive feather in our cap and in it shows the class of those individuals both on and off the field.
“It was equally pleasing to have two players, Am, and Springbok Women’s winger Nomawethu Mabenge nominated for two of the biggest awards, World Rugby Player of the Year, and International Women’s Try of the Year respectively, and it shows the calibre of the players within our system.
“The 2023 season is building up to be quite monumental for South Africa with the Rugby World Cup in France, and we certainly hope to see our players again making their presence felt as the Springboks attempt to defend their title.”
World Rugby Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Year in partnership with Capgemini: 1. Ellis Genge (England) 2. Malcolm Marx (South Africa) 3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland) 4. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland) 5. Sam Whitelock (New Zealand) 6. Pablo Matera (Argentina) 7. Josh van der Flier (Ireland) 8. Grégory Alldritt (France) 9. Antoine Dupont (France) 10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland) 11. Marika Koroibete (Australia) 12. Damian de Allende (South Africa) 13. Lukhanyo Am (South Africa) 14. Will Jordan (New Zealand) 15. Freddie Steward (England).
Full list of World Rugby Awards winners
- World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year, in partnership with Mastercard – Ruahei Demant (New Zealand)
- World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year in partnership with Mastercard – Josh van der Flier (Ireland)
- World Rugby Coach of the Year – Wayne Smith (New Zealand Women’s 15s)
- World Rugby Men’s Breakthrough Player of the Year in partnership with Tudor – Ange Capuozzo (Italy)
- World Rugby Women’s Breakthrough Player of the Year in partnership with Tudor – Ruby Tui (New Zealand)
- World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year in partnership with HSBC – Terry Kennedy (Ireland)
- World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year in partnership with HSBC – Charlotte Caslick (Australia)
- World Rugby Referee Award – Tappe Henning (South Africa)
- Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service – Dr Farah Palmer (New Zealand)
- International Rugby Players Special Merit Award – Bryan Habana (South Africa)
- International Rugby Players Men’s Try of the Year – Rodrigo Fernandez (Chile, v USA on 9 July)
- International Rugby Players Women’s Try of the Year – Abby Dow (England, v Canada on 5 November)