Rugby | No Boks on World Player shortlist

A two-time recipient
of this award, in 2005 and 2012, Daniel Carter will play his 112th and
final test for the All Blacks in the RWC 2015 final, bringing down the
curtain on an illustrious 12-year career which has seen him score a
world record 1,579 test points. Desperate to bow out with RWC success,
having seen his 2011 tournament cut short by injury, the 33-year-old has
been rolling back the years with some impressive performances in recent

The youngest of the
six nominees, having only turned 24 yesterday, Michael Hooper became the
fastest and second youngest player to reach 50 test caps in the
semi-final win over Argentina. The perfect link man between forwards and
backs, he is one third of the formidable Wallabies back row alongside
Scott Fardy and fellow nominee David Pocock that have dominated the
breakdown at RWC 2015.

A towering presence in
the Wales second row, Alun Wyn Jones joined the club of rugby test
centurions in their quarter-final exit to South Africa, combining his 94
Welsh caps with six for the British and Irish Lions. The 30-year-old
anchors the front five and is a fierce competitor, not to mention an
inspiring figure on and off the field. He has started all 10 of his
tests in 2015, captaining Wales to victory in their warm-up match with
Ireland in Dublin.

Leading by example as
Scotland captain, Greig Laidlaw bowed out of Rugby World Cup 2015 in the
quarter-finals as the leading point-scorer with 79, 26 of them –
including a crucial late try – coming in the 36-33 win over Samoa which
confirmed his side’s place in the quarter-finals as Pool B runners-up.
The proud 30-year-old started 12 of Scotland’s 14 tests this year and
came off the bench in their pool victory over the USA.

The 27-year-old’s
skills at the breakdown are legendary and he has been a thorn in many a
team’s side at RWC 2015, unsurprisingly leading the statistics for
turnovers with 14 to show he is back to his scavenging best after
undergoing two major knee constructions in successive years. Nominated
for World Rugby Player of the Year for the third time, David Pocock is
both a calming and inspirational presence in the Wallabies back row.

The All Blacks winger
has a try-scoring rate that few, if any, can match in world rugby,
having crossed the try-line 38 times in 40 tests since his debut in June
2012. The 25-year-old, a former Junior Player of the Year who was
nominated for this award in 2014, has scored eight tries at RWC 2015 to
equal the record for a single tournament held by Jonah Lomu and Bryan
Habana. He has scored two hat-tricks among that haul, including one in
the quarter-final victory over France.

World Rugby chairperson Bernard Lapasset said: “The World Rugby Player
of the Year Award in association with MasterCard is the most prestigious
award in the men’s game and there were several players in the frame for
the shortlist, reflecting not just a great year for rugby, but the most
compelling and competitive Rugby World Cup to date.

“Each player thoroughly deserves their nomination and I am sure that
the panel will have much to think about over the next couple of days as
they determine who will be the recipient of this wonderful accolade.”

The World Rugby Player of the Year 2015 in association with
MasterCard nominees were selected by an independent World Rugby Awards
panel, chaired by Australia’s Rugby World Cup 1999-winning captain John

The panel comprises former players Will Greenwood, Gavin Hastings,
Raphaël Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Agustín Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana
Umaga and Paul Wallace as well as journalists Pierre Galy (AFP), Stephen
Jones (The Sunday Times), Georgina Robinson (Sydney Morning Herald),
Jim Kayes (TV3) and Sergio Stuart (Ole, Argentina) and the 20
participating teams at RWC 2015.

The panel has deliberated on every major test played in 2015 from the
Six Nations through to The Rugby Championship, World Rugby Pacific
Nations Cup and Rugby World Cup 2015, with additional emphasis placed on
matches at rugby’s showcase tournament, before determining an average
based on number of matches played to deliver a fair opportunity for all.

Following a stellar year of rugby there were a number of players
representing a broad range of nations on the cusp of the shortlist.

Eales said: “This has been a very special year for rugby with some
outstanding individual and team performances. Through voting and
consultation the panel has concluded six worthy finalists for the Player
of the Year award. Being a World Cup year, particular weighting has
been given to World Cup performances, where there are four candidates
who will contest the final on Saturday.”

Previous winners include Brodie Retallick, Kieran Read, Thierry
Dusautoir, Shane Williams, Bryan Habana, Schalk Burger, Jonny Wilkinson
and Richie McCaw, the All Blacks captain the only player to receive the
award more than twice.

The World Rugby Player of the Year 2015 is one of 13 categories of
awards, including the World Rugby Team of the Year, World Rugby Coach of
the Year, World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year in association with
HSBC, World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year and World Rugby
Breakthrough Player of the Year.

For more information on the World Rugby Awards, visit

Previous Player of the Year Award winners:

2014 – Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)
2013 – Kieran Read (New Zealand)
2012 – Dan Carter (New Zealand)
2011 – Thierry Dusautoir (France)
2010 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2009 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2008 – Shane Williams (Wales)
2007 – Bryan Habana (South Africa)
2006 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2005 – Dan Carter (New Zealand)
2004 – Schalk Burger (South Africa)
2003 – Jonny Wilkinson (England)
2002 – Fabien Galthié (France)
2001 – Keith Wood (Ireland)

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