Former Wales captain Rob Howley has won the Rugby Union Writers' Club prestigious Pat Marshall Memorial Award.
Howley, who scored the winning try when Wasps were crowned European champions by defeating Toulouse at Twickenham last May, joins an illustrious roll of honour as rugby union personality of the year.
Previous recipients include Gareth Edwards, David Campese, Jonah Lomu, Jonny Wilkinson and England's World Cup captain Martin Johnson, a three-time winner.
Scrum-half Howley was forced to retire earlier this season because of a serious wrist injury, calling time on a career that saw him tour Australia and South Africa with the Lions, and win more than 50 Wales caps.
During his Wasps career, he won the European Cup, two English Premiership titles and the Parker Pen Challenge Cup.
Howley is the sixth Welsh winner of the award, following Edwards, Mervyn Davies, JPR Williams, Jonathan Davies and Robert Norster.
England Under-18 head coach John Fletcher insists his young side will be better for the experience after beating Italy in the bronze final to round out their 2015 Rugby Europe U18 Championship campaign in style.