The men’s rugby player of the year shortlist has been named; Eben Etzebeth and Ardie Sevea are also among the nominees for the award; the winner will be announced on Sunday in Paris
1.35pm UK Thursday 26 October 2023
Ireland center Bundee Aki is among four nominees for World Rugby Player of the Year, along with France captain Antoine Dupont and World Cup finalists Eben Etzebeth of South Africa and Ardie Sevea of New Zealand.
The winner is due to be announced in Paris on Sunday, a day after South Africa and New Zealand meet in the World Cup final. Both teams are trying to become the first country to win the Rugby World Cup for the fourth time.
Aki enjoyed an excellent tournament in France despite disappointing Ireland in the quarter-finals; led the attack’s stats through the pool stage, while scrum-half Dupont, who won the award in 2021, failed to lead his side past the Springboks on home soil.
Lock Etzebeth will be a strong contender with his powerful displays in the second row, which has been part of the Springboks’ form this year, but the tireless Sevea has been a key player for the All Blacks this tournament.
The nominations for Breakthrough Player of the Year include two New Zealanders in wing Mark Tele’a and prop Tamaiti Williams. Other nominees for the award include South Africa ball Manie Libbok, who did not make it into match day 23 of his side’s World Cup finals match on Saturday, and French winger Louis Bielle-Biarrey.
Fiji’s Simon Raiwalui is in the running for Coach of the Year after guiding his side to the World Cup quarter-finals with a win over England at Twickenham. However, he faces stiff competition with Andy Farrell (Ireland), Ian Foster (New Zealand) and Jacques Nienaber (South Africa) also in the running for the award.
Nominations for Women’s Player of the Year and several other categories will be announced after the WXV tournament on November 4 in New Zealand.
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