Fixtures - Top Bar

Nominees for World Rugby Players of the Year announced

No fewer than three of Saracens’ Aviva Premiership Rugby winning stars have been named on the six-man shortlist for the prestigious men’s XVs Player of the Year award for 2016.

The gong, which will be presented at the World Rugby Awards at the Hilton London Metropole on 13 November, has not gone to an Englishman since 2003 when Jonny Wilkinson claimed it following a glittering performance at the Rugby World Cup.

But this year Aviva Premiership Rugby can boast half of the players shortlisted with Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola exciting and inspiring fans around the world with their feats this year.

As well as steering Saracens to a league and European Cup double, this year has seen 25-year-old Farrell utilised by coach Eddie Jones as an inside-centre – playing outside Bath Rugby’s George Ford as they did for England U20s.

The positional switch has not affected his influence however, and he finished the RBS 6 Nations as top points scorer with 69 and was named man of the match in the final Test against Australia in June.

Farrell is nominated for the second time, having lost out to Dan Carter in 2012, but for 22-year-old starlet Itoje – who truly broke onto the world stage this year – it is a first.

The youngest of the nominees, Itoje is also nominated for the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year accolade having only made his England debut off the bench against Italy in February.

England’s World Rugby U20 Championship-winning captain in 2014, Itoje shows a calmness and maturity beyond his years with nothing seeming to faze the second-row.

And last but by no means least, No.8 Vunipola has come of age in 2016, thriving under the guidance of Jones who has given him the responsibility of being one of England’s vice-captains.

Vunipola has played 29 tests since his debut in 2013 and was named man of the match three times in England’s Six Nations Grand Slam-winning campaign for his barnstorming displays.

They are joined on the list by two All Blacks in Beauden Barrett and Dane Coles, while Ireland’s Jamie Heaslip completes the line-up.

Both shortlists were selected by independent panels featuring former internationals and members of the media, who deliberated on every major Test from the Six Nations through to those on 5 November.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “It is testament to the current strength of the men’s and women’s 15s game that there was so much competition for these prestigious awards.

“There is class in abundance with New Zealand’s Barrett and Coles, England’s Vunipola, Itoje and Farrell and Ireland’s Heaslip. There is also a great mix of experienced, proven campaigners and exciting young talent.”

These awards are two of 12 categories of awards, including the World Rugby Team of the Year, World Rugby Coach of the Year, World Rugby Men’s and Women’s Sevens Players of the Year in association with HSBC and World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year.

Previous World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year Award winners:

2015 – Dan Carter (New Zealand)

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)

Previous World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year Award winners:

2015 – Kendra Cocksedge (New Zealand)

2014 – Magali Harvey (Canada)

2012 – Michaela Staniford (England)

2011 – Ruth Mitchell

2010 – Carla Hohepa (New Zealand)

2009 – Debby Hodgkinson (Australia)

2008 – Carol Isherwood

2007 – Sarah Corrigan

2006 – Maggie Alphonsi (England)

2005 – Farah Palmer (New Zealand)

2004 – Donna Kennedy (Scotland)

2003 – Kathy Flores (USA)

2002 – Monique Hirovanaa (New Zealand)

2001 – Shelley Rae (England)

Latest News

Aviva Premiership Rugby stars to feature heavily in Lions final midweek game

EIGHT Aviva Premiership players will start the British & Irish Lions’ final midweek game tomorrow looking to force their way…

Teofilo Paulo excited by London Irish move but will miss home cooking

Samoan international Teofilo Paulo is making the most of his mum’s cooking ahead of the summer move to London Irish.…

British & Irish Lions beaten in first Test by New Zealand

Two second-half tries from winger Rieko Ioane helped New Zealand to a 30-15 victory in the first Test against the…

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Saracens and London Irish to kick off the season at Twickenham

SARACENS and London Irish will help launch the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season after being chosen as the home sides for…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…