Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

World Rugby publishes Player of the Year shortlists

Farrell and Itoje World Rugby publishes Player of the Year shortlists
Noah Ferguson | 14 November, 2017, 23:49

The voting for fans was opened on Monday and will run until Sunday midnight on World Rugby's official website.

Both shortlists were chosen by the star-studded World Rugby awards panel, comprising previous winners Richie McCaw, John Smit, George Gregan, Maggie Alphonsi and former England coach Clive Woodward alongside Brian O'Driscoll, Fabien Galthié and Agustín Pichot.

The panel also chose a shortlist for the Women's Player of the Year, which comprised of New Zealanders Kelly Brazier and Portia Woodman, France duo Romane Menager and Safi N'Diaye, and England's Lydia Thompson.

Along with the panel, the decision will be made by fans, worldwide captains, coaches and media.

The nominees for the 2017 Men's Player of the Year have been selected, and there is a mixture of both northern and southern hemisphere talent on the shortlist.

The victor will be announced at a World Rugby ceremony in Monaco on November 26.

New South Wales' very own Israel Folau is in the running for World Rugby's Men's Player of the Year.

28-year-old Folau's nomination comes on the back of a sensational 2017.

Breakthrough Player of the Year in 2016, the British lock Mario Itoje was also nominated for a second consecutive year.

A European Rugby Champions Cup victor with his club, Saracens, he was deployed at blindside flanker, rather than second-row, throughout England's victorious Six Nations campaign, his performances ensured his place on the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

The dual-code worldwide took out his third John Eales Medal (most ever) for Australian player of the year in 2017, and also broke fellow rugby league convert Lote Tuqiri's record for most Test tries in a calendar year by an Australian.

He came off the bench in the first test and earned a starting spot in the second-row for the remaining tests.

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