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World Rugby Awards nominees list delivers brutal reminder of Australia's decline

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26th October, 2023
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Australia has just one representative on the list of World Rugby Award nominees revealed Thursday, with sevens jet Maddi Levi helping avoid a humiliating shut out.

With the Wallabies falling to an all-time low in France, Australia could not have had any expectations of featuring in their categories. A World XV will also be named at the awards ceremony on Monday (AEDT) with it unlikely any Australians get near selection.

The men’s XV player of the year nominees are Bundee Aki (Ireland), Antoine Dupont (France), Eben Etzebeth (South Africa) and Ardie Savea (New Zealand).

Aki was brilliant for the Irish in France with five tries, while Dupont had a tournament he’d probably want to forget, suffering a broken jaw against Namibia and then failing to clear the quarter-finals.

Etzebeth and Savea will go head-to-head in Sunday’s (AEDT) final.

Three of the four coach nominees will be leaving their posts, or have already left.

Ian Foster and Jacques Nienaber move on from their roles after the final, while Fiji’s Simon Raiwalui, who took Fiji to the quarter-finals, has already departed. The fourth candidate is Ireland’s Andy Farrell.

There are two Kiwis on the breakthrough player list – Aussie-raised Tamaiti Willliams, and wing star Mark Telea. Manie Libbok, who was dumped from the Springboks team for the final, and Louis Bielle-Biarrey are the other nominees.

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The women’s XV awards will be delayed until after the current WXV series, involving the Wallaroos.

WORLD RUGBY AWARDS 2023 NOMINEES LIST

World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year

Michaela Blyde (New Zealand)
Maddison Levi (Australia)
Tyla Nathan-Wong (New Zealand)
Reapi Ulunisau (Fiji)

(Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year

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Leroy Carter (New Zealand)
Rodrigo Isgro (Argentina)
Marcos Moneta (Argentina)
Akuila Rokolisoa (New Zealand)

International Rugby Players Men’s Try of the Year

Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland, v England on 4 February)
Damian Penaud (France, v Ireland on 11 February)
Hugo Keenan (Ireland, France on 11 February)
Vinaya Habosi (Fiji, v Georgia on 1 October)

World Rugby Coach of the Year

Andy Farrell (Ireland)
Ian Foster (New Zealand)
Simon Raiwalui (Fiji)
Jacques Nienaber (South Africa)

World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year

Bundee Aki (Ireland)
Antoine Dupont (France)
Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)

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Ardie Savea (New Zealand)

World Rugby Men’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year

Louis Bielle-Biarrey (France)
Manie Libbok (South Africa)
Mark Tele’a (New Zealand)
Tamaiti Williams (New Zealand)

Other categories being awarded on Monday (AEDT)

Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service
International Rugby Players Special Merit Award
Rugby for All Award
World Rugby Referee Award
World Rugby Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Year
Categories awarded following the conclusion of WXV

World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year
World Rugby Women’s 15s Dream Team of the Year
World Rugby Women’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year
International Rugby Players Women’s Try of the Year

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