The nominees for the World Rugby Player of the Year have been revealed and there are two Englishmen on the shortlist.
There was disappointment for Irish and Welsh fans as Sean O’Brien and Jonathan Davies were two players many supporters expected to make the five-man shortlist but the pair missed out.
However, Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje both made the cut as did Israel Folau of Australia and New Zealand duo Rieko Ioane and Beauden Barrett.
It is the second year in a row that Farrell and Itoje have had their performances rewarded with a nomination.
Israel Folau, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year 2017.
— Ben Coles (@bencoles_) November 13, 2017
In a year where the Lions toured New Zealand, four players involved in that tour made the shortlist while Folau’s prolific try-scoring has been rewarded by the judges.
New Zealand have had a monopoly on this award in recent years with Barrett (2016), Dan Carter (2012 and 2015), Brodie Retallick (2014) and Kieran Read (2013) all winning the award in recent times.
Jamie Heaslip and Jonathan Sexton have received nominations in recent years but unfortunately from an Irish point of view, none of Joe Schmidt’s men made the cut this time.
The winner will be announced on November 26.
World Rugby Player of the Year shortlist:
- Israel Folau
- Maro Itoje
- Owen Farrell
- Rieko Ioane
- Beauden Barrett
The nominees for World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year are: Kelly Brazier (New Zealand), Romane Menager (France), Safi N’Diaye (France), Lydia Thompson (England) and Portia Woodman (New Zealand).
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