In doing so, the 24-year-old Dyantyi became the first South African to win this prestigious award for players in their debut worldwide season.
"Of course, this is not yet the end, and we look forward to an exciting and challenging 11 months for Irish Rugby during Joe's final Six Nations and the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
We are all very proud of him and can't wait to see more of the same in 2019".
"It's been an incredible year for Irish rugby, to win everything we could, really", Sexton told Press Association Sport. "The same applies to Jessy Trémoulière of France (World Rugby Women's Player of the Year in association with Mastercard), Perry Baker of the USA (Men's Sevens Player of the Year in association with HSBC) and Michaela Blyde of New Zealand (Men's Sevens Player of the Year in association with HSBC), and all the other people who were honoured on Sunday evening".
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt will leave his role after the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and will be replaced by defence coach Andy Farrell, the Irish Rugby Federation announced on Monday.
"Teams try to peak for World Cup years".
'You have to improve ahead of the general curve.
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In conference, Emery said that a number of players had recovered from injuries and trained, such as forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette .
"We'll be going into a lot of games now as favourites after what's happened this year, so that will be a challenge for us".
And they've said, 'Don't be rash, if you change your mind, we'd love to continue that conversation, or if you change your mind we don't need to have a conversation, or if we just continue as we are, that's great'.
Schmidt was appointed Ireland head coach in 2013, and has overseen the most successful period in the national team's history, winning three Six Nations titles (2014, 2015 and 2018), a first win on South African soil (2016), a first win over New Zealand (2016) and a series win in Australia (2018).
"We've got to deal with being favourites and I'm sure we can do that".
Springboks victor Aphiwe Dyanti was named Breakthrough Player of the Year and Australia's Angus Gardiner Referee of the Year.
Former Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore and New Zealand Sevens legend DJ Forbes also earned special merit awards.