New Zealand’s Beauden Barrett and Rieko Ioane have been named on the five-man shortlist for World Rugby Player of the Year award, while France dominated the nominations for the women’s award.
Barrett could become the first player to win the award three years in a row after another stellar season in the All Blacks number 10 jersey, scoring seven tries in his eight tests this year.
Ioane, the youngest of the nominees at only 21, has found himself on the shortlist for the second year in a row, having also been named the Breakthrough Player of the Year in 2017.
South African pair Faf de Klerk and Malcolm Marx and Irish flyhalf Johnny Sexton were also nominated for the award.
The oldest men’s nominee at 33, Sexton has played a key role in Ireland’s climb to the second in the world rankings on the back of a Six Nations Grand Slam and first series win in Australia for 39 years.
France captain Gaelle Hermet was joined by teammates Pauline Bourdon, Safi N’Diaye and Jessy Tremouliere on the women’s shortlist after their Grand Slam triumph this year.
They were joined by Kiwi skipper Fiao’o Faamausili, the oldest of the nominees at 38.
The awards will be presented in Monte Carlo on November 25.