The nominees for the 2023 World Rugby Awards have now been announced, with New Zealand players dominating the shortlist after a stellar 2023 for the country’s rugby.
New Zealand players have dominated the first shortlists for the prestigious World Rugby Awards 2023, which will be presented at the Opéra Garnier in Paris on Sunday, 29 October.
Winners in 11 categories are set to be honoured in a star-studded showcase taking place just hours after the conclusion of a record-breaking Rugby World Cup 2023 at Stade de France.
The Rugby World Cup-winning team will be part of a glittering Parisian guest list, featuring generations of rugby greats and special guests from across society.
Fans around the world will be able to watch live and free on RugbyPass TV, where exclusive pre-show coverage will begin at 7 PM (EAT).
The men’s sevens category is being contested exclusively between four players.
New Zealand pair of Leroy Carter and Akulia Rokolisoa will battle out for the award with Rodrigo Isgro and Marcos Moneta of Argentina for the prestigious award, with only one of the four players ultimately set to win the award despite having brilliant individual years.
Carter and hot-stepper Akuila Rokolisoa played a key part in the All Blacks Sevens’ 14th title.
Meanwhile, Moneta and Isgro, contributed 80 tries between them to an historic season for Argentina which saw them win three Cup titles from six finals to finish as runners-up and secure qualification for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
Isgro’s form in sevens also saw him called up to the Argentina squad for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.
In the 15s category, An even split of forwards and backs who have all been at the heart of their nations’ successes in 2023 have made the shortlist.
Centre Bundee Aki was in inspired form at RWC 2023, scoring five tries in a tournament that saw him play his 50th test for Ireland.
A test centurion, Eben Etzebeth continues to be a towering presence in the Springbok lineout while also weighing in with important tries as his score in the quarter-final defeat of France showed.
Fellow finalist Ardie Savea always seems to be everywhere on the pitch for the All Blacks, his tireless work-rate evident for all to see in the quarter-final defeat of Ireland.
Antoine Dupont is not only the captain of France but the heartbeat of the team that has captured the imagination of the French public, despite their RWC heartbreak, with his constant threat around the pitch.
There will also be an award for the breakthrough 15s player of the year considering the many debutants that have shone on the global stage.
New Zealand’s Tamaiti Williams, is only the third front-row to be nominated for this award.
Team-mate Mark Tele’a scored the opening try of RWC 2023 against France and is a constant threat.
France’s 20-year-old Louis Bielle-Biarrey – the youngest contender – who has quickly established himself in a dangerous French back three and started four of their five RWC 2023 matches.
The Rugby 15s try of the year will be contested between Ireland’s Hugo Keenan, Fiji’s Viyana Habosi, Damian Penaud of France, and Duhan van der Merwe of Scotland.
Source: Pulse Sports