Ireland centre Bundee Aki and France scrum half Antoine Dupont are among four nominees for World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year despite their nations’ early exits from the Rugby World Cup.
Aki and Dupont join South Africa’s Eben Etzebeth and New Zealand’s Ardie Savea, who will feature in Saturday’s final at the Stade de France, on a four-man shortlist.
Eleven World Rugby awards will be handed out on Sunday night at a ceremony at the Opera Garnier in Paris, but the nominees and winners in a further four women’s categories will be announced and celebrated separately after the conclusion of WXV.
Savea is one of nine nominations from New Zealand across six categories for which shortlists have been unveiled.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster will compete with South Africa counterpart Jacques Nienaber, Ireland’s Andy Farrell and outgoing Fiji coach Simon Raiwalui for the Coach of the Year award.
South Africa fly half Manie Libbok and New Zealand wing Mark Tele’a, meanwhile, will contend for the Breakthrough Player award, with France’s Louis Bielle-Biarrey and Tele’a’s teammate Tamaiti Williams also nominated.
“All those nominated today deserve not only our congratulations but also our thanks for everything they have contributed, on and off the field, to inspire fans and players worldwide, driving rugby forward in 2023 in line with our sport’s values,” said Bill Beaumont, chairman of World Rugby.
“The strength of rugby is its players, coaches, officials and volunteers, and these shortlists provide a vivid snapshot of a sport that is thriving globally in its 200th year.”
WORLD RUGBY AWARDS 2023 | NOMINEES
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 in partnership with Mastercard
Bundee Aki (Ireland)
Antoine Dupont (France)
Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)
Ardie Savea (New Zealand)
World Rugby Men’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year in partnership with Tudor
Louis Bielle-Biarrey (France)
Manie Libbok (South Africa)
Mark Tele’a (New Zealand)
Tamaiti Williams (New Zealand)
World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year
Michaela Blyde (New Zealand)
Maddison Levi (Australia)
Tyla Nathan-Wong (New Zealand)
Reapi Ulunisau (Fiji)
World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year
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)
Other categories being awarded on Sunday 29 October
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 in partnership with Capgemini
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 in partnership with Capgemini
World Rugby Women’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year in partnership with Tudor
International Rugby Players Women’s Try of the Year