No three peat for Barrett as Irishman wins Player of the Year
JOHNNY Sexton has been crowned World Rugby's Player of the Year on a night of sweeping success for Ireland.
Joe Schmidt was named coach of the year award, with Ireland taking team of the year in a triple win for the 2018 Six Nations Grand Slam winners at the World Rugby Awards.
Australia's Angus Gardner picked up the referee award while former Wallabies captain Stephen Moore and DJ Forbes, former All Blacks sevens captain, shared the International Rugby Players (IRP) Special Merit Award.
British and Irish Lions five-eighth Sexton is the first northern hemisphere winner of World Rugby's top individual accolade since France's Thierry Dusautoir in 2011.
The 33-year-old is just the second Irishman to land the gong, following in the footsteps of hooker Keith Wood, who won in 2001.
"It's been an incredible year for Irish rugby, to win everything we could, really," Sexton said.
"It's been very special, and a few of us have ended up here tonight.
"There are areas we've definitely highlighted to improve, which will be important in World Cup year.
"Teams try to peak for World Cup years. People ask have we peaked too soon?
"Well we haven't peaked, so we're just getting better and hopefully we can continue to do that.
"We'll be going into a lot of games now as favourites after what's happened this year, so that will be a challenge for us.
"We've got to deal with being favourites and I'm sure we can do that."
The linchpin playmaker's stunning final-play drop goal secured Ireland a 15-13 win over France in Paris, as Schmidt's men set the ball rolling on just their third Grand Slam.
Sexton guided Leinster to the PRO14-Champions Cup double before he starred when Ireland toppled back-to-back world champions New Zealand 16-9 in Dublin earlier this month.
Kiwi Schmidt has guided Ireland from eighth to second in the world rankings in five years at the helm.
South Africa's Aphiwe Dyantyi pipped Ireland's Jordan Larmour to the breakthrough player of the year award.
France's Jessy Tremouliere is World Rugby women's 15s player of the year, with New Zealand's Michaela Blyde claiming the women's sevens award.