Three Springboks named in Top 20 players of 2021

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Lukhanyo Am and Damian de Allende. (Photo by EJ Langner/Gallo Images)
Lukhanyo Am and Damian de Allende. (Photo by EJ Langner/Gallo Images)

Three Springboks were named in the top 20 players of 2021, according to Rugby World magazine.

The highest-ranked of these is centre Lukhanyo Am, who comes in at number seven.

He is followed by winger Cheslin Kolbe at number eight and lock Eben Etzebeth at number 17.

Top of the list is French scrumhalf Antoine Dupont, followed by New Zealand backrower Ardie Savea and English lock Maro Itoje.

The All Blacks contribute the most players to the Top 20 with six in total. 

Earlier in November, no players from either the Springboks or the All Blacks made the World Rugby Player of the Year Nominations list.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup champions had a difficult year in 2021, with Covid-19 providing a challenging backdrop to international fixtures.

They did beat the British & Irish Lions 2-1 in a series that was mired in controversy following Rassie Erasmus and his now infamous hour-long video pointing out referring mistakes after the first Test loss to Warren Gatland's men. 

The Boks finished third in the Rugby Championship, losing twice to the Wallabies and once to New Zealand, although they did manage a dramatic 31-29 victory over their arch-rivals a week later on 2 October.

While South Africa beat Wales and Scotland on their tour of the United Kingdom in November, they were beaten by England in the final game of the international season. 

You can see the full list of the Top 100 ranked players, according to Rugby World magazine here

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What are your views on the World Rugby men's Player of the Year nominations for 2021 not including any Springboks?
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It's a disgrace! Both Siya Kolisi AND Eben Etzebeth should have been nominated!
39% - 6405 votes
Siya, at the very least, should have been included after a superb season
6% - 1017 votes
Etzebeth has been SA's best player this year and should feel hard done by
21% - 3478 votes
Get over it! Moaning about this just sounds like sour grapes!
33% - 5466 votes