17-year-first: All Blacks snubbed in World Player of the Year awards

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 16 Nov 2021, 8:40AM
(Photo / Photosport)
(Photo / Photosport)

17-year-first: All Blacks snubbed in World Player of the Year awards

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 16 Nov 2021, 8:40AM

For the first time since 2004, an All Blacks player is missing from the nominations for World Rugby's Player of the Year award. 

The nominations for the 2021 World Rugby Awards have been announced and, while All Blacks coach Ian Foster gets a nod, no members of his or the Black Ferns squad appear alongside him. 

Foster, who has guided the All Blacks to Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup triumph, will compete with Black Ferns Sevens and Olympic-gold winning coaches Allan Bunting and Cory Sweeney, as well as Dave Rennie (Australia) and Simon Middleton (England women) for the Coach of the Year gong. 

However, none of his squad members appear in the nominations for Player of the Year. The last time this happened was in 2004 when Schalk Burger, Matt Giteau, Serge Betsen, Gordon D'Arcy and Marius Joubert were judged to be the best in the world. There are also no Springboks players in the shortlist, meaning the top two teams don't have a player up for the top gong. 

Also snubbed are the Black Ferns - though this is understandable given they have barely played for two years. 

Some consolation for XVs fans lies in Will Jordan's nomination for Breakthrough Player of the Year after he became the second-fastest All Black to 15 test tries. 

It's the sevens game where New Zealand features heavily in this year's edition of the awards where Bunting and Sweeney's are joined by Scott Curry and Sarah Hirini as nominees for men's and women's Sevens Player of the Year. 

Finally, Beauden Barrett's outrageous try-assist for Luke Jacobson during the Rugby Championship has been nominated for Men's Try of the Year. 

World Rugby Awards 2021 nominees 

World Rugby Men's 15s Player of the Year
Antoine Dupont (France) 
Michael Hooper (Australia) 
Maro Itoje (England/British and Irish Lions) 
Samu Kerevi (Australia) 

World Rugby Women's 15s Player of the Year 
Zoe Aldcroft (England) 
Caroline Boujard (France) 
Laure Sansus (France) 
Poppy Cleall (England) 

World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year 
Will Jordan (New Zealand) 
Andrew Kellaway (Australia) 
Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales) 
Marcus Smith (England) 

World Rugby Coach of the Year 
Allan Bunting/Cory Sweeney (New Zealand Women's Sevens) 
Ian Foster (New Zealand Men) 
Simon Middleton (England Women) 
Dave Rennie (Australia Men) 

World Rugby Men's Sevens Player of the Year 
Napolioni Bolaca (Fiji) 
Scott Curry (New Zealand) 
Marcos Moneta (Argentina) 
Jiuta Wainiqolo (Fiji) 

World Rugby Women's Sevens Player of the Year 
Anne-Cécile Ciofani (France) 
Sarah Hirini (New Zealand) 
Alowesi Nakoci (Fiji) 
Reapi Ulunisau (Fiji) 

International Rugby Players Men's Try of the Year 
Lukhanyo Am (South Africa, v British and Irish Lions on 31 July) 
Pierre-Louis Barassi (France, v Australia on 17 July) 
Luke Jacobson (New Zealand, v Argentina on 12 September) 
Damian Penaud (France, v Scotland on 26 March) 

International Rugby Players Women's Try of the Year 
Sara Barattin (Italy, v Scotland on 13 September) 
Emilie Boulard (France, v Wales on 3 April) 
Abby Dow (England, v France on 24 April) 
Romane Ménager (France, v Ireland on 17 April)