Sport Rugby

Tuesday 21 November 2017

No Irish players on the shortlist for World Rugby's Player of the Year

Tadhg Furlong poses for a portrait after an Ireland rugby press conference at Carton House in Maynooth, Kildare. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Tadhg Furlong poses for a portrait after an Ireland rugby press conference at Carton House in Maynooth, Kildare. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje have been nominated for World Rugby's player of the year award.

The England duo make the shortlist after excelling for the British and Irish Lions in the summer's drawn Test series with New Zealand.

All Blacks pair Beauden Barrett and Rieko Ioane and Australia's Israel Folau complete the contenders, with a new star-studded awards panel making the selections.

Supporters, international captains, coaches and the media will be able to add their voice to the deliberations, before the panel makes the ultimate decisions, with the gongs dished out at World Rugby's annual awards dinner in Monaco on November 26.

Ireland's Tadhg Furlong was touted as one player who could have made the shortlist after the tighthead's outstanding displays for Leinster, the Lions and Ireland.

Ireland's Keith Wood won the inaugural award in 2001 while the likes of Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Paul O'Connell, Jamie Heaslip and Johnny Sexton have been nominated in the past.

"There have been numerous highlights from a fascinating year of international rugby that comprised an outstanding Women's Rugby World Cup, a compelling British and Irish Lions tour, Six Nations and The Rugby Championship competitions and a superb programme of Test rugby," said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.

"I am sure there will be lots of debate over the coming weeks. I'd like to thank the panel for their expert consideration and look forward to the winners being announced at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco."

England's Lydia Thompson has been nominated for World Rugby's women's player of the year, with New Zealand duo Kelly Brazier and Portia Woodman and France pair Romane Menager and Safi N'Diaye also on the list.

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