Victor Vito scoops Top 14 player of the year award ahead of Carl Fearns

Vito scored four tries in 22 matches last season as La Rochelle ended the regular season at the summit of the Top 14. NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images

Victor Vito has been named player of the year in the Top 14, beating off competition from Carl Fearns and Remi Lamerat.

Former All Black Vito scored four tries in 22 matches as La Rochelle finished top of the table last season, before losing 18-15 to Toulon in the semifinals.

And the 30-year-old received his award -- voted for by members of the French players' union -- in odd circumstances as presenter Antoine de Caunes took to the stage with only a rugby ball and some skin-coloured underwear hiding his modesty.

Vito took it all in good humour, though, giving the French celebrity a gentle tap on the rugby ball.

The La Rochelle back row tweeted:

Vito enjoyed a five-year All Black career from 2010 and was a member of the Rugby World Cup-winning squads of 2011 and 2015.