Rugby-England's Poppy Cleall voted best player at women's Six Nations


FILE PHOTO: Women's International - England v France - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - November 21, 2020 England's Poppy Cleall in action with France's Agathe Sochat and Annaelle Deshaye Action Images via REUTERS/Matthew Childs

(Reuters) - Poppy Cleall was named the 2021 Six Nations' Player of the Championship after powering England to the title, winning by a landslide in a public vote, tournament organisers said on Thursday.

England sealed a third consecutive women's Six Nations title over the weekend without losing a single game when they beat France in the final in a new, condensed format.

Winning 62% of over 12,000 votes cast, Cleall beat fellow England forward Zoe Aldcroft and France's Caroline Boujard to the prize.

"It's a huge honour," Cleall said. "I'm not only a rugby player but a massive rugby fan and have been in awe of some of the games and moments in this tournament.

"It's already a huge moment in my career to win back-to-back titles with this team but to win this award is thanks to all the hard work of those around me from my coaches, team mates and my family."

She set the tone in England's opening match of the tournament with a dominant performance as they thrashed Scotland 52-10, with her identical twin sister Bryony also chipping in.

Poppy then charged over the line to score the match-winning try in the 10-6 victory over France in the final.

"She's an incredible athlete who performed consistently throughout and also turned the biggest match of the year in her team's favour," Six Nations CEO Ben Morel said.

"It's great that so many fans have voted to recognise her outstanding contribution to England's success."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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