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IRB nominates Fourie du Preez

2006-11-06 15:58

London - The International Rugby Board has announced the shortlist of players nominated for the prestigious IRB Player of the Year Award.

The five short-listed nominees were unveiled at the London launch of the IRB World Rugby Yearbook 2007.

New Zealand flyhalf and previous winner Dan Carter, Australia fullback Chris Latham, New Zealand captain Richie McCaw, Ireland lock Paul O'Connell and South Africa scrumhalf Fourie du Preez are all nominated for the top individual accolade at the IRB Awards, being held this year at the historic Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, Scotland on November 26.

Other South Africa players nominated are Stefan Basson (IRB Sevens Player of the Year) and the promising Keegan Daniel (IRB Under-21 Player of the Year).

"The IRB Player of the Year award is the ultimate accolade for a player to receive and rewards the highest achiever in the game over the past twelve months. The award takes into account the Test calendar from January to November 2006 and includes the Six Nations Championship, Tri-Nations Series and the June Tests,"said International Rugby Board chairperson, Syd Millar.

"The list of past winners of this prestigious award reads like a who's who in the game with Shalk Burger, current nominee Dan Carter, Jonny Wilkinson, Fabien Galthie and Keith Wood all receiving the top prize," added Dr Millar.

Reconvene after the completion of the November Tests

The nominees were considered by the Awards' independent panel of judges, made up of former internationals with 503 caps between them - Francois Pienaar, Michael Jones, Fabien Galthie, Keith Wood, Gavin Hastings, Jonathan Davies, Dan Lyle and Federico Mendez and convener John Eales.

The Awards panel, who also vote on the IRB Coach and Team of the Year during the same period, will select the IRB Player of the Year after the completion of the November Test schedule. The IRB Player of the Year is one of 12 categories of awards that include the IRB Coach of the Year, IRB Team of the Year, IRB Sevens Player of the Year, IRB Sevens Team of the Year and IRB Women's Personality of the Year.

The event also recognises Age Grade Rugby and there is a special Spirit of Rugby award which honours outstanding contribution to the game.