World Rugby have unveiled the shortlist for the under 20 player of the Championship.
The five nominees for the under 20 Championship Player of the tournament have this afternoon been unveiled by tournament organisers. The prestigious prize came into being in 2008, and has been won by players such as Aaron Cruden, Julien Savea, George Ford and Handre Pollard.
Nominated for the award this year are Ireland’s Max Deegan, England’s Harry Mallinder, Japan’s Ataata Moeakiola, Shaun Stevenson of New Zealand and South Africa’s Curwin Bosh.
Deegan in particular has been instrumental in Ireland’s drive for the final, scoring memorable tries against New Zealand and Argentina. Mallinder has also impressed throughout the tournament, using much the experience garnered in the Premiership with Northampton Saints last season, the English fly half has accumulated 45 points.
The Baby Black’s Stevenson is the tournament’s second top try scorers with five to his name, and has demonstrated the fleet of foot that has seem him break into the Chiefs Super Rugby side.
Tongan born Ataata Moeakiola lit up the opening round of the Championship, scoring a hat-trick of tries for Japan during their loss against the Springboks. The big winger crossed the line on three further occasions thereafter, making him the tournament’s leading try scorer with six to his name.
Finally, South Africa’s Curwin Bosh earned his nomination after impressing from fullback throughout the tournament with South Africa. Already earmarked for stardom by the Sharks, Bosh could yet become a mainstay in the Springbok squad for years to come.
Voted for by the public on World Rugby’s Facebook page, the prize will be handed out after the under 20 Championship final between Ireland and England this Saturday.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
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