December 3 - Kieran Read has become the third New Zealander to be awarded with the International Rugby Board (IRB) Player of the Year accolade on a night when the All-Blacks won the top three awards.
New Zealand went unbeaten throughout their 14 matches in 2013, a run which included a 11th successive Bledisloe Cup title, retention of The Rugby Championship and victory in all of their Autumn Internationals against Northern Hemisphere nations.
There were unsurprisingly named IRB Team of the Year for the seventh time while Steve Hansen was chosen as IRB Coach of the Year for the second year in succession.
It was Read's award which provided the stand out moment however as the back row forward became the third New Zealander to be named IRB Player of the Year, following in the footsteps of teammates Dan Carter in 2005 and 2012 and Richie McCaw 2006, 2009 and 2010.
He was chosen ahead of South Africa's Eben Etzebeth, Wales and Lions star Leigh Halfpenny, fellow New Zealander Ben Smith and the Italian Sergio Parisse.
The 28-year-old's "workload in the scrum, lineout, his tackling, his ability to compete in the air and at the breakdown, not to mention the tendency to be in the right place at the right time when it comes to creating or scoring tries," were highlighted to explain his victory.
"The IRB player, coach and team awards bring the international Rugby year to a close and what a year it has been for New Zealand," said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset.
"They seem to reach new levels of excellence every year and although some managed to push them very close, they were clearly the stand-out team of the year.
"From a starting point of brilliance, Kieran Read has been improving steadily in recent years and is now, without question, a world-class player.
"His talent, work ethic and attitude make him an extremely valuable player for New Zealand and a formidable opponent for everyone else.
"Winning this award reflects a magnificent contribution to our game during 2013."
Read's role was also endorsed by his coach Hansen.
"He has been outstanding and has been a major contributor all season," he said.
"It's been a big year and I am incredibly proud of what the boys have achieved and I thank them for their commitment and efforts."
Hansen being awarded the Coach of the Year award once again was also unsurprising given the fact an unbeaten year has never before been achieved in the professional era.
It sets his team up well for a defence of their World Cup title in two years time in England.
Furthermore, ahead of the sports inclusion at Rio 2016, New Zealand also extended their rugby dominance to the sevens arena as they won the men's and women's IRB World Series titles.
November 2013: Gregan leads Hall of Fame inductions as World Cup returns to IRB