New Zealand features prominently in 2023 World Rugby Awards nominations

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No8 Ardie Savea is nominated for Player of the Year, while another New Zealander, Bundee Aki, is nominated from Ireland.

The other nominees are Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth and French halfback Antoine Dupont.

Previous Player of the Year Award winners have been Dan Carter (2005, 2012, 2015), Richie McCaw (2006, 2009, 2010), Keiran Read (2013), Brodie Retallick (2014), Beauden Barrett (2016, 2017).

Coach Ian Foster is one of four nominations for Coach of the Year. He is joined by Ireland's Andy Farrell, South Africa's Jacques Nienaber and Fiji's Simon Raiwalui.

Sir Graham Henry won the award five times (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011). Sir Steve Hansen won it four times (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016), and Sir Wayne Smith won in 2022.

Two All Blacks, wing Mark Tele'a and prop Tamaiti Williams, are nominated for Men's 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year.

Since the new list of awards has been presented, winners of the Breakthrough Player of the Year Award have been Nehe Milner-Skudder (2015), Rieko Ioane (2017), and Will Jordan (2021).

In Sevens, men's and women's players of the year, New Zealand has two players in each category.

In the women's, Michaela Blyde and Tyla Nathan-Wong are nominated along with Australia's Maddison Levi and Fiji's Reapi Ulunisau.

New Zealanders who have won the Women's Sevens Award are Kayla McAlister (2013), Portia Woodman (2015), Blyde (2017, 2018) and Ruby Tui (2019).

At the same time, in the men's, Leroy Carter and Akuila Rokolisoa are joined by Argentina's Rodrigo Isgro and Marcos Moneta.

Men's Sevens players of the year have been Orene Ai'i (2005), Afeleke Pelenise (2007), DJ Forbes (2008), Tomasi Cama (2012), and Tim Mikkelson (2013).

International Rugby Players' Men's Try of the Year is the other award. That will be fought between Duhan van der Merwe for Scotland against England, Damian Penaud for France against Ireland, Hugo Keenan for Ireland against France and Vinaya Habosi for Fiji against Georgia.

Also to be awarded on the night are the Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service (New Zealand winners include Sir Brian Lochore and Jock Hobbs), the International Rugby Players' Special Merit Award, the Rugby for All Award, World Rugby's Referee Award and World Rugby's Men's 15s Dream Team of the Year.


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