Folau in contention for top award


By Waratahs Rugby Media Unit



New South Wales’ very own Israel Folau is in the running for World Rugby’s Men’s Player of the Year. Folau is one of five world-class players on the shortlist for the prestigious title with the winner to be announced at the World Rugby Awards ceremony at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo on 26 November.

The other nominees for the top accolade are Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), Owen Farrell (England and the British & Irish Lions), Rieko Ioane (New Zealand) and Maro Itoje (England and the British & Irish Lions).

28-year-old Folau’s nomination comes on the back of a sensational 2017. The fullback came into the year without a try in his previous 11 Tests, but rediscovered his scoring touch to set a new Australian record for tries in a calendar year with 12 in 10 Tests. In June he became the first Wallaby to score doubles in three consecutive Tests and finished joint top try scorer in the Rugby Championship.

The shortlist was selected by the new star-studded World Rugby Awards panel which comprises Rugby World Cup winners Richie McCaw, John Smit, George Gregan, Maggie Alphonsi and former England coach Clive Woodward alongside Brian O’Driscoll, Fabien Galthié and Agustín Pichot.

In a new step in the selection process, fans, international captains, coaches and media will have their say before the panel considers the winner of the prestigious award.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “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.

“As ever, the selection of Men’s and Women’s 15s Player of the Year nominees by the panel has excellence as the core consideration and all are not just superb players, but role models.

“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.”









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