One Scot, one Welshman and zero Irishmen on World Rugby Player of the Year shortlist 7 years ago

One Scot, one Welshman and zero Irishmen on World Rugby Player of the Year shortlist

Apparently winning Six Nations Player of the Year has all the currency of a bounced cheque in a World Cup year.

The nominees for World Rugby Player of the Year have been unveiled and they do not make good reading for Irish supporters.

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Shortlist

  • Daniel Carter (New Zealand)
  • Michael Hooper (Australia)
  • Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
  • Greig Laidlaw (Scotland)
  • David Pocock (Australia)
  • Julian Savea (New Zealand)

The inclusion of Greig Laidlaw and Alun Wyn Jones comes as a surprise, given that their countries fell short in the Six Nations [Scotland got the wooden spoon] and lost two of their five World Cup games.

That said, Laidlaw is currently the tournament's second top scorer, on 79 points, and Jones was a rock for the Welsh in a tournament that left them ravaged with injury.

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Greig Laidlaw celebrates scoring a penalty with Blair Cowan and Nathan Hines 18/10/2015

Michael Hooper and David Pocock are the frontrunners for the award, having combined to devastating, turnover-making effect for the Wallabies.

Dan Carter and Julian Savea may overtake them if they can help New Zealand to retain their World Cup trophy.

Former Wallabies star John Eales said: "Being a World Cup year, particular weighting has been given to World Cup performances, where there are four candidates who will contest the final on Saturday.”

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The panel that decided the six-man list consists of Will Greenwood, Gavin Hastings, Raphaël Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Agustín Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana Umaga and Paul Wallace.

It also includes journalists Pierre Galy (AFP), Stephen Jones (The Sunday Times), Georgina Robinson (Sydney Morning Herald), Jim Kayes (TV3) and Sergio Stuart (Olé, Argentina) and 'the 20 participating teams at the World Cup'.

We will find out the winner on Sunday evening.