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Aki, Dupont, Etzebeth, and Savea have been nominated for the title of men’s rugby player of the year.

Bundee Aki, center for Ireland, is one of four contenders for the World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year award. The other nominees include Antoine Dupont, captain of France, Eben Etzebeth from South Africa (a finalist in the World Cup), and Ardie Savea from New Zealand.

The champion will be announced in Paris on Sunday, the day following the World Cup final between the Springboks and All Blacks.

Aki performed exceptionally well during the tournament in France, despite Ireland’s elimination in the quarter-finals. He topped the attack statistics during the group stage. Meanwhile, scrum-half Dupont, who was named the best player in 2021, was unable to guide his team to victory on their home turf.

Lock Etzebeth is recognised following a string of powerful displays in the second row, a feature of the Springboks’ form this year, while loose forward Savea has been outstanding for the All Blacks.

Eben Etzebeth attempts to charge down a clearance from his fellow World Rugby men’s player of the year nominee Antoine Dupont in the quarter-final

The candidates for the title of breakthrough player of the year consist of two players from New Zealand, namely wing Mark Tele’a and prop Tamaiti Williams. The other nominees are South Africa’s fly-half Manie Libbok, who was not included in the team’s matchday 23 for the World Cup final on Saturday, and French wing Louis Bielle-Biarrey.

Simon Raiwalui from Fiji has been nominated for coach of the year for guiding his team to the quarter-finals of the World Cup and defeating England at Twickenham. However, the top candidate for the award is expected to be either Andy Farrell from Ireland, Ian Foster from New Zealand, or Jacques Nienaber from South Africa.

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The list of candidates for the title of women’s player of the year, as well as other categories, will be revealed following the conclusion of the WXV tournament in New Zealand on November 4th.

Source: theguardian.com