Ardie Savea headlines nominees for top New Zealand rugby award

Jon Wilson
All Blacks Ardie Savea during the Rugby World Cup 2023 final match at the Stade de France in Paris.

All Blacks Ardie Savea during the Rugby World Cup 2023 final match at the Stade de France in Paris.

Reigning World Rugby Player of the Year Ardie Savea has been included among New Zealand Rugby’s men’s Player of the Year nominees.

Savea, who was a standout for the All Blacks during the Rugby World Cup in France, has been nominated for the award alongside two Barrett brothers, Jordie Barrett (back) and Scott Barrett (lock), as well as scrum-half Aaron Smith.

After his final season as an All Black, Smith has also been included in the Māori Player of the Year nominees.

Loose forward Savea was key to the All Blacks’ title-winning Rugby Championship campaign earlier this year and, last month, reached the Rugby World Cup final against South Africa.

Bumper year of rugby

“Congratulations to all those nominated for awards, it is a reflection on the hard work and tenacity shown across all levels of the game both on and off the field,” said New Zealand Rugby chief executive officer Mark Robinson.

“We’ve had another bumper year of rugby, so it’s fantastic to be able to recognise the teams and individuals that have contributed to that.”

New Zealand Rugby have introduced two new awards – the Bunnings Warehouse Rugby Club of the Year and Te Hāpai New Zealand Rugby Community Impact Award.

“We know that right across New Zealand, many rugby clubs serve their communities far beyond rugby, and recognising the great work of our clubs, with the support of Bunnings Warehouse, is a great inclusion in the awards,” added Robinson.

“As is acknowledging the dedication from individuals across the game, we had some incredible nominations which highlight the special people involved in rugby.”

Selected New Zealand Rugby Awards nominees

New Zealand Rugby Referee of the Year

Maggie Cogger-Orr
Angus Mabey
Ben O’Keeffe

Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year

Chris Fife (Northland)
John Hume (Counties Manukau)
Sharlene Wiselam (Canterbury)
Allen Grainger (Waikato)

Bunnings Warehouse Rugby Club of the Year

Tamatea Rugby Sports Clubs (Hawke’s Bay) Auckland University Rugby Football Club (Auckland) Beachlands Maraetai Rugby Club (Counties Manukau)

Te Hāpai New Zealand Rugby Community Impact Award

Steven Li (Asian Non-Contact Rugby Program) Te Kahurangi Skelton (Otago Māori Rugby) Richard Perkins (Otago Rugby Football Union)

New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year

Harry Godfrey (Hawke’s Bay)
Macca Springer (Tasman)
Angelica Mekeke-Vahai (Auckland)

Ian Kirkpatrick Medal (Heartland Championship Player of the Year)

Siu Kakala (South Canterbury)
Stuart Leach (Poverty Bay)
Alekesio Vakarorogo (Whanganui)

Duane Monkley Medal (NPC Player of the Year)

Etene Nanai-Seturo (Counties Manukau)
Adrian Choat (Auckland)
Fergus Burke (Canterbury)
Timoci Tavatavanawai (Tasman)

Fiao’o Faamausili Medal (FPC Player of the Year)

Krysten Cottrell (Hawke’s Bay)
Laura Bayfield (Canterbury)
Kaipo Olsen-Baker (Manawatu)

ASB National Men’s Coach of the Year

Nigel Walsh (South Canterbury)
Neil Barnes (Taranaki)
Scott Robertson (Crusaders)

ASB National Women’s Coach of the Year

Rawinia Everitt (Northland)
Blair Baxter (Matatū)
Willie Walker (Auckland)

Super Rugby Pacific Player of the Year

Mark Tele’a (Blues)
Scott Barrett (Crusaders)
Damian McKenzie (Chiefs)

Super Rugby Aupiki Player of the Year

Renee Holmes (Matatū)
Lucy Jenkins (Matatū)
Luka Connor (Chiefs Manawa)
Tanya Kalounivale (Chiefs Manawa)

Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the Year

Aaron Smith (Ngāti Kahungunu, Manawatu)
Billy Harmon (Ngāi Tahu)
Stacey Waaka (Ngāi Tūhoe)
Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (Nga Puhi, Ngai Tahuhu)

Richard Crawshaw Memorial All Blacks Sevens Player of the Year

Leroy Carter
Akuila Rokolisoa
Dylan Collier

Black Ferns Sevens Player of the Year

Jorja Miller
Stacey Waaka
Risaleaana Pouri-Lane

Black Ferns Player of the Year

Maiakawanakaulani Roos
Liana Mikaele-Tu’u
Amy du Plessis

All Blacks Player of the Year

Jordie Barrett
Scott Barrett
Ardie Savea
Aaron Smith

National Men’s Team of the Year

Taranaki Bulls
South Canterbury

National Women’s Team of the Year

Auckland Storm
Northland Kauri

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