The Cayman Rugby Union has named Etienne Duvenage as the Magners Player of the Year for 2010-11 after brilliant performances for the The Iguanas.
South African Duvenage has been living in the Cayman Islands for just over a year and it was his first season at the South Sound club.
The John Doak Architecture Iguanas stand off displayed top class skills throughout the season both with his educated kicking game and his fleet footed running. These talents made him the leading points scorer in the league and although the Iguanas eventually lost to the Buccaneers in the final, Duvenage’s performances throughout the season made him a popular choice for the award.
National XV’s captain and Iguanas vice-captain Ben McDonald said: “Etienne was a revelation this year. He brought rare skills to the club and the local rugby community is all the richer for it.”
The Magners Player of the Year is voted by all players in the senior men’s competition and is the most prestigious award at the annual players dinner at the end of each season.
Duvenage was actually touring the exotic Galapagos Islands when the award was announced, but collected his trophy and other items courtesy of Magners Cider soon after his return.
Brian Moxam of Cayman Distributors said: “Magners Cider is delighted to once again be the proud sponsor of this award. Rugby club regulars love the brand and it is only fitting that the island’s number one player is supported by the island’s number one cider.”
Prior to moving to Cayman, Duvenage, 27, represented the Villages club in his home town of Paarl, near Cape Town. This famous wine growing region has produced some incredible rugby talent over the years and the sport runs deep in the veins of the Duvenage family.
Younger brother Dewaldt, 23, has just finished his first season for the Stormers in Super Rugby, and has been tipped as a future Springbok. Duvenage is employed at PriceWaterhouseCoopers as an assurance senior and absolutely loves living in Cayman.
“The rugby club is a great way to meet people,” he said. “I was on the field only a few weeks after I arrived and although playing in the heat is tough to get used to, the social life is awesome. Our pre-season boat trip was one of the best days ever.”
As a part of the award, Magners will pay for Duvenage’s 2011/12 membership and playing fees. Although he is fluent in English, Duvenage’s first language is actually Afrikaans. “Dankie Magners, Cayman’s se beste cider!” he said.