The shortlist has been announced for World Rugby’s player of the year award.
England duo Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje have been nominated after excelling for the British and Irish Lions in the summer’s drawn Test series with New Zealand.
All Blacks pair Beauden Barrett and Rieko Ioane and Australia’s Israel Folau complete the contenders, with a new star-studded awards panel making the selections.
Supporters, international captains, coaches and the media will be able to add their voice to the deliberations, before the panel makes the ultimate decisions, with the gongs dished out at World Rugby’s annual awards dinner in Monaco on November 26.
“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,” said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.
“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.”
England’s Lydia Thompson has been nominated for World Rugby’s women’s player of the year, with New Zealand duo Kelly Brazier and Portia Woodman and France pair Romane Menager and Safi N’Diaye also on the list.