Sunday 17 November 2019

Rugby World Player of the Year nominations revealed: England's Tom Curry makes final six

England's Tom Curry
England's Tom Curry

Duncan Bech

England have only one entry on the shortlist for world player of the year despite reaching Saturday's World Cup final against South Africa.

Tom Curry is the nation's solitary nominee on the strength of an outstanding 2019 that has seen him scale fresh heights in Japan, including a man-of-the-match display in the quarter-final rout of Australia.

The 21-year-old is the youngest player in Eddie Jones's squad and also the youngest Red Rose forward to have played at a World Cup.

A breakdown specialist and ferocious tackler who has made a seamless transition from openside to blindside flanker, the jet-heeled Curry has added forceful ball carrying to his array of skills.

A glaring omission from the six-strong shortlist is Maro Itoje, who was the chief architect of New Zealand's semi-final downfall when he was named man-of-the-match.

The Lions forward is missing from a group of nominees that comprises of Curry, Springboks flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit, Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones, wing Cheslin Kolbe of South Africa, All Blacks back row Ardie Savea and Joe Taufete'e of the USA.

The winner will be named at Sunday's World Rugby awards in Tokyo.

The panel who drew up the shortlist were all-time greats Richie McCaw, John Smit, George Gregan and Brian O'Driscoll.

PA Media

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