Not everyone is happy with the four names

World Rugby men’s 15s Player of the Year list draws criticism

World Rugby have revealed their shortlists of nominees for their player of the year awards – with fans able to vote for the men’s 15s players of the year, women’s 15s player of the year, and sevens players for both men and women. Each award has four nominees and the winner in those categories will be selected by fan vote.

But the men’s 15s shortlist in particular, has drawn the ire of some rugby fans.

Antoine Dupont (France), Maro Itoje (England), Michael Hooper and Samu Kerevi (both Australia) have been selected.

Those players were put forward by a selection panel made up of Maggie Alphonsi (England), Fiona Coghlan (Ireland), Thierry Dusautoir (France), George Gregan (Australia), Richie McCaw (New Zealand), Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland), Melodie Robinson (New Zealand), John Smit (South Africa), and Clive Woodward (England).

But the choices have been met with some criticism on social media. There is no place on the list for any Springboks – despite the side winning a British & Irish Lions series, defeating the All Blacks, and also returning to number one in the world rankings, all this year. There are also no All Blacks, despite winning the Rugby Championship.

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One fan, @zim_silinga tweeted: “So like Lukhanyo Am & Siya Kolisi are just invisible” while another, @haroldsiyaya said: “Not a single Springboks or New Zealand player nominated for player of the year… bare in mind, those are the 2 best rugby teams in the world.”

For the women’s list for 15s player of the year, the panel chose Zoe Aldcroft, Poppy Cleall (both England), Caroline Boujard, Laure Sansus (both France).

The panel for this was: Liza Burgess (Wales), Lynne Cantwell, Fiona Coghlan (both Ireland), Stephen Jones (The Sunday Times), Gaëlle Mignot (France), Jillion Potter (USA), Melodie Robinson, Karl Te Nana (both New Zealand), Danielle Waterman (England).

As for the sevens awards, the panels have chosen, for the women: Anne-Cecile Ciofani (France), Sarah Hirini (New Zealand), Alowesi Nakoci and Reapi Ulunisau (both Fiji).

For the men: Napolioni Bolaca, Jiuta Wainiqulo (both Fiji), Scott Curry (New Zealand), Marcos Moneta (Argentina).

What do you make of these lists – or indeed the selection panels? Let us know via or on our social media channels.

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