IRB honour Du Preez

Springbok scrumhalf Fourie Du Preez is one of five internationals who have been nominated for the IRB Player of the Year award.

Having already been named SA’s Player of the Year, Du Preez now joins New Zealand’s Daniel Carter (flyhalf) and Richie McCaw (flank), Australia’s Chris Latham (fullback), and Ireland’s Paul O’ Connell (lock) in the race for the title of world’s best in 2006. The results are due to be announced on 26 November at Glasgow’s historic Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, this year’s venue for the IRB awards ceremony.

Carter walked away with the prize in 2005, where SA’s Victor Matfield and Bryan Habana were also nominated. However, All Black captain Richie McCaw will be the favourite to win the prestigious award this time round, having had a fantastic international season where he was unrivaled in his position.

Blue Bulls youngster Stefan Basson has also been nominated for an award in the Sevens category along with Uale Mai from Samoa and Mathew Tait from England. Keegan Daniel also receives recognition for his efforts in the SA U21 team, who lost to France in the final of this year’s World Championship. Both of these players have already won the SA equivalent of these awards in the respective categories, Basson claiming the SA Sevens prize for the second consecutive year.

The nominations in the age group and Sevens categories are the result of votes cast by the management of all participating teams in the respective Age Grade tournaments or in the IRB Sevens World Series.

The shortlists for the Player of the Year, the U21 Player of the Year, the U19 Player of the Year, and the IRB Sevens Player of the Year are as follows:

IRB PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Daniel Carter (NZ)
Fourie Du Preez (SA)
Chris Latham (AUS)
Richie McCaw (NZ)
Paul O’ Connell (IRE)

IRB U21 PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Lionel Beauxis (FRA)
Keegan Daniel (SA)
Digby Ioane (AUS)

IRB U19 PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Antony Faingaa (AUS)
Josh Holmes (AUS)
Victor Vito (NZ)

IRB SEVENS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Stefan Basson (SA)
Uale Mai (SAM)
Mathew Tait (ENG)