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Dupont in contention for back-to-back Player of the Year awards

Dupont in contention for back-to-back Player of the Year awards

Dylan Cretin and Antoine Dupont celebrate winning

Antoine Dupont could become the first player from outside New Zealand to win World Rugby’s Player of the Year award for a second time after being nominated in the end of season awards.

Johnny Sexton too, could lay claim to that status, while teammate Josh van der Flier and South Africa’s Lukhanyo Am are also in the fray to be crowned rugby’s top dog on Sunday.

And supporters can have their say in on awards night by casting their vote for Try of the Year before voting closes on Thursday.
Dupont was key to France’s first Six Nations title in 12 years, finishing the campaign with a staggering 238 metres gained – a phenomenal effort for a scrum-half – and two Player of the Match awards.

Leinster’s Van der Flier was the only Irishman to play every minute in that campaign, showcasing just how integral the 29-year-old is to Andy Farrell’s side as they finished second behind Grand Slam winners France.

Fellow Irish nominee Sexton continues to show that age is but a number, playing all three Tests as Ireland won their first ever series in New Zealand.

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Autumn Nations Series Fantasy Rugby: Round 2 winners and losers

While Am has been injured since the end of August but had made the No.13 jersey his own up to that point and played a starring role in South Africa’s series win over Wales earlier in the summer.

Elsewhere, Andy Farrell has been nominated for coach of the year award after guiding his team to the top of the world rankings, as has Fabien Galthié, who continues to take France from strength-to-strength, most recently masterminding a win over world champions South Africa in their nail-biting Autumn Nations Series clash.

After a truly great year for Ireland there is further recognition in the end of year awards, which will be the first to take place in person since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hooker Dan Sheehan and winger Mack Hansen have been nominated in the Breakthrough Player of the Year category and are joined by Italy’s Ange Capuozzo and England’s Henry Arundell, who scored on his international debut against Australia in the summer.

Takeaways from Round 2 of the Autumn Nations Series

The try of the year category also has a strong northern hemisphere undertone, with three nominees coming from Guinness Six Nations sides.

Chris Harris is included for Scotland’s fine counter-attack score against Italy, Edoardo Padovani makes the cut after Italy’s stunning late try against Wales, speedster Louis Rees-Zammit’s submission comes from his brilliant effort in Wales’ first Test in South Africa, while Lalakai Foketi is the sole representative from the Rugby Championship sides, after his finish for Australia against France.

World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year

Antoine Dupont, France
Johnny Sexton, Ireland
Josh van der Flier, Ireland
Lukhanyo Am, South Africa

World Rugby Coach of the Year

Andy Farrell, Ireland Men’s 15s
Fabien Galthié, France Men’s 15s
Simon Middleton England Women’s 15s
Wayne Smith, New Zealand Women’s 15s

International Rugby Players Men’s Try of the Year

Rodrigo Fernandez (Chile, v USA on 9 July)
Lalakai Foketi (Australia v France on 5 November)
Chris Harris (Scotland, v Italy on 12 March)
Edoardo Padovani (Italy, v Wales on 19 March)
Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales, v South Africa on 2 July)

World Rugby Men’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year

Henry Arundell (ENG)
Ange Capuozzo (ITA)
Mack Hansen (IRE)
Dan Sheehan (IRE)

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