THE imminent arrival of Wallabies captain David Pocock was the topic on everyone's lips, but it was another veteran of the international stage who took the top honour at the ACT Brumbies' awards night.
Hooker Stephen Moore was rewarded for a superb season in winning the Brett Robinson Players' Player trophy at a gala function in front of 450 guests at Rydges Lakeside last night.
The 29-year-old played a pivotal role in the Brumbies recovering from one of their worst seasons in the club's history in 2011 to falling just short of featuring in the finals for the first time since 2004.
Moore brought up his 100th Super Rugby match in the last-round loss to the Auckland Blues, a defeat which allowed the Queensland Reds to leapfrog the Brumbies to claim the Australian conference.
It was a vast improvement from 12 months ago when the Brumbies sacked coach Andy Friend after two rounds, several established players parted ways with the club and won just four games.
Moore moved to Canberra in 2009 after spending the previous six seasons with the Reds, establishing himself as one of the mainstays of the Wallabies forward pack.
He will again be called upon for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship campaign, kicking off against the All Blacks in Sydney next Saturday.
Moore stuck with the Brumbies through their darkest days, believing they could once again become the dominant force in Super Rugby under South African World Cup-winning coach Jake White.
Hopes are high for the two-time champions for next year, with Pocock signing on until the end of 2015.
The addition of the world's best openside flanker has been hailed as the greatest recruiting coup the Brumbies have ever pulled off.
Pocock fills the void left by young gun Michael Hooper, who will return home to Sydney to join the NSW Waratahs.
Hooper leaves the Brumbies as the club's best forward for 2012 after a breakout season, which resulted in the former Australian under-20s representative making his Wallabies debut.
Hooper made the No.7 jersey his own with his tireless ruck work and enormous motor across the ground.
Flyhalf Christian Lealiifano added the best back trophy to his equal second place in the Australian Super Rugby player of the year awards.
The 24-year-old relished an increased leadership role, running the Brumbies attack beautifully and making key plays when they mattered until suffering a season-ending ankle injury late in the campaign.
NRL convert and Wallabies bolter Joe Tomane confirmed his status as one of the game's rising stars in taking out the Shawn Mackay Rookie of the Year award.
The former Melbourne Storm and Gold Coast Titans winger adapted quickly to the 15-a-side game, catching the eye with his powerful runs and tryscoring ability.