All Blacks Beauden Barrett and Rieko Ioane, and Black Ferns skipper Fiao’o Faamausili have been named as finalists for the Men’s and Women’s 15s Player of the Year awards, taking the tally of New Zealand nominations to seven, for this year’s World Rugby Awards.
World Rugby’s announcement comes the day before World Cup-winning Captain Fiao’o Faamausili once again leads the Black Ferns as they take on the USA in Chicago.
It’s the third World Player of the Year nomination in a row for Barrett, who won the award in 2016 and 2017, and second in a row for Ioane, who was named Breakthrough Player of the Year in 2017.
New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew welcomed the nominations as an acknowledgement of some outstanding individual performances during 2018.
“Fiao’o, Beauden and Rieko bring our total number of nominations for the awards to seven, with Black Ferns Sevens players – Sarah Goss, Portia Woodman and Michaela Blyde nominated for the Women’s Sevens Player of the Year award, and All Blacks prop Karl Tu’inukuafe nominated for Breakthrough Player of Year.
“All of the New Zealand players nominated for these awards have represented us proudly on the world stage with outstanding individual efforts and these World Rugby nominations confirm that many others outside New Zealand think the same.
“It’s no surprise that Fiao’o has been nominated, she is an inspirational captain who has once again led by example as the Black Ferns completed a Series win over Australia earlier this year. We welcomed her reversing her retirement to stay in the game.
“Congratulations also to Beauden who could become the first player to win the prestigious accolade three years in a row after another impressive season in the black jersey. We’re also delighted for Rieko who is following up his outstanding form from last year.
“I am sure all our nominees would like to thank their respective teams for their support and for providing the platform on which they can perform.”
Other nominees for World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year are Pauline Bourdon (France), Gaelle Hermet (France), Safi N’Diaye (France) and Jessy Tremouliere (France), while Faf de Klerk (South Africa), Malcolm Marx (South Africa) and Johnny Sexton (Ireland) join Beauden and Rieko as finalists for the World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the year.
Previous World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year winners:
2017 – Portia Woodman (New Zealand)
2016 – Sarah Hunter (England)
2015 – Kendra Cocksedge (New Zealand)
Previous World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year winners:
2017 – Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
2016 – Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
2015 – Dan Carter (New Zealand)
The winners, together with the Coach of the Year and Team of the Year, will be revealed at the World Rugby Awards, to be held at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo on 25 November.