World Rugby has announced the shortlists for the men’s and women’s 15s Player of the Year awards, which will be presented on November 13.
Following a stellar year for international rugby, the shortlists feature players who have excited and inspired fans around the world with their feats this year.
The nominees for World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year 2016 are: Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), Dane Coles (New Zealand), Owen Farrell (England), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England) and Billy Vunipola (England).
The nominees for World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year 2016 are: Fiao’o Fa’amausili (New Zealand), Sarah Hunter (England) and Gaëlle Mignot (France).
Both shortlists were selected by independent panels featuring former internationals and members of the media, who deliberated on every major test from the Six Nations through to those on November 5.
The men’s panel is chaired by Australia’s RWC 1999-winning captain John Eales and comprises former players Will Greenwood, Raphaël Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Chris Paterson, Agustín Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana Umaga and Paul Wallace as well as journalists Pierre Galy (AFP), Stephen Jones (The Sunday Times), Jim Kayes (TV3) and Sergio Stuart (Ole, Argentina).
The women’s panel features four former players, three of them captains in Fiona Coghlan, Marie-Alice Beauxis and RWC Sevens 2009 winner Cheryl McAfee. Two-time Women’s Rugby World Cup winner Melodie Robinson completes the panel with The Sunday Times journalist Jones.