Queensland Reds and Wallaroos captain Shannon Parry won the praise of both her fellow players and the Reds coaches at last night’s Reds Super W Awards night, winning both the Player’s Player and Player of the Year Awards.
Having returned to Queensland after retiring from the Australian Sevens program after the Tokyo Olympics, Parry has gone from strength-to-strength as she integrated back into XV-a-side Rugby.
“It’s always really nice to receive ‘Player’s Player’ awards and then to be named ‘Player of the Year’ as well, it’s been a massive year for this group and it could have gone to any number of players, it is a credit to the ladies around me who enable me to play the game I like to play – hopefully we can stick together as a group and go again in 2023,” said Parry.
“It’s been a great experience with this team, after retiring from Sevens I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with Rugby, I came down to a few sessions with the Reds and that reignited my passion and I was ready to give it a red-hot crack.
“I’ve really enjoyed my experience with the Reds, we have a group of young talented players and the important thing for us is to hold onto that talent, learn from the season we just had and come back bigger and better next year.
“I came back into XVs not expecting any of the accolades or captaincy duties I’ve received, for me it doesn’t change the way I play, but really special to receive ‘Player’s Player’ and to be respected by your teammates and receive an award like that – it’s really humbling.”
There were three other award winners recognised last night. The Best Forward Award went to Wests prop Liz Patu, who crossed for four tries across the Super W campaign before then becoming Australia’s most capped Wallaroo last week in the Wallaroos’ Test match against Japan at Bond University.
Best Back was awarded to Sunnybank’s Ivania Wong. Wong has now featured in every Super W season since the competition’s inception, amassing 25 caps, and this season she was at her devasting best on the wing for the Reds, displayed best in her three-try performance against the Melbourne Rebels at Suncorp Stadium in what was the Reds’ Women in Rugby Round.
Rookie of the Year was presented to GPS scrumhalf Sarah Lewis. Lewis, who had been on the fringes of the Super W program for the last few seasons, worked hard during pre-season and started in all five of Queensland’s regular season matches in 2022, impressing both her coaches and peers along the way.
“All of our Award winners this evening were worthy recipients,” said head coach Simon Craig.
“Both Liz and Ivania have been part of the fabric of this Queensland side for a number of years and as two of the more senior players in the group, they led with their actions on-and-off the field and were great role models for the young players in our squad.
“Sarah Lewis, for a player fresh out of club Rugby, showed a great professional approach to every aspect of our program and that reflected in her performances throughout the season. A deserving recipient of the Rookie of the Year award and she will continue to develop in the following years.
“For Shannon to receive both the recognition of the players and coaching staff is testament to her as not just a player but as a person. True leaders are sometimes hard to come by, but Shannon is one of those people, she is someone that people want to follow and as a coach, to have an individual like that at the helm of your team – it’s gold.
“After being at the top of the Sevens circuit for so long, she slotted back into the XVs game effortlessly and impact on-and-off the field is reflected in her Wallaroos captaincy for the year ahead.”