Several of the world’s elite former International rugby players have been included in a new World Rugby Awards panel announced by the governing body this week.
Headed by Agustín Pichot (see main picture), and including men and women at the top of the sport. Like World Cup winners Richie McCaw, George Gregan and Maggie Alphonsi, as well as coach Sir Clive Woodward; to name a few.
The World Rugby Awards are the ultimate accolade for excellence in rugby on and off the field from community to elite rugby and; since its launch in 2001, the world’s biggest names and most successful teams have been honoured.
New World Rugby Awards Panel a Veritable Who’s Who of the Game
When the nominations are gathered for the annual awards – to be held in Monaco, in late November this year – the panel charged with making the initial judgement, will include new and exciting names.
These include World Rugby Hall of Famers and former award winners. They are:
John Smit – former South Africa hooker and captain who led his team to victory at Rugby World Cup 2007; 111 caps; World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee #48, 2011.
George Gregan – former Australia scrum-half and captain who was part of the Wallabies team that won Rugby World Cup 1999; 139 caps; World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee #64, 2013.
Maggie Alphonsi – former England flanker and Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 winner; 74 caps; World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee #132, 2016; 2006 Women’s Personality Award winner.
Clive Woodward – former England centre who coached England to victory at Rugby World Cup 2003; 21 caps plus two for British and Irish Lions; World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee #42, 2011; 2003 Coach of the Year.
Brian O’Driscoll – former Ireland centre and captain; 133 caps plus eight for British and Irish Lions; World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee #121, 2016; 2008 IRPA Try of the Year award winner.
Agustín Pichot – former Argentina scrum-half and captain; 71 caps; World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee #46, 2011; 2008 IRPA Special Merit Award winner.
Richie McCaw – former New Zealand flanker and captain who led his team to victory at Rugby World Cup 2011 and 2015; 148 caps, 2006, 2009 and 2010 Player of the Year.
Fabien Galthié – former France scrum-half and captain; 64 caps; 2002 Player of the Year
From this esteemed group, the long list of talented women and men put forward in the assorted categories, will be short listed.
Players, coaches, media and fans are at the heart of an exciting new process to determine the prestigious World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year and Women’s Player of the Year awards. This comes following a revamp of the process ahead of the 2017 awards.
As such, once the nominees for men’s and women’s player of the year awards are selected by the awards panel, voting will be open to fans via @WorldRugby social media platforms using the #WorldRugbyAwards hashtag.
World Rugby Awards Panel Refreshed in 2017
Panel member, and World Rugby Vice-Chairman Agustín Pichot told worldrugby.org “Our objective is to ensure that the awards are relevant and inclusive and that’s why players, fans and media are at the heart of this exciting, new process which will live and thrive on social media.
“We want fans to have their say, not just at the end of the year when the decision is made, but throughout 2017.
“So join in the conversation and share your player, team and coach of the year suggestions using the #WorldRugbyAwards hashtag.”
“This new process will be guided by a new panel and I am excited to be deliberating with a group of talented and experienced players and coaches. All are active on social media which will make it easier to gauge the opinions of fans.
“I would like to thank the previous panel for their excellent contributions and they will always be regarded as a special group within the World Rugby Awards family.”
New panel member Maggie Alphonsi added: “I am truly honoured to be on the panel alongside these rugby legends and be given the opportunity to recognise and celebrate those individuals within the game who have excelled this season.”
World Rugby Awards Scheduled After November Test Window
- Men’s Player of the Year
- Women’s Player of the Year
- Coach of the Year
- Team of the Year
- World Rugby Referee of the Year
- IRPA Try of the Year
- Breakthrough Player of the Year
- Men’s Sevens Player of the Year
- Women’s Sevens Player of the Year
- World Rugby Award for Character
- Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service
- IRPA Special Merit
“Main photo credit”
Embed from Getty Images