Kanko dominates nominees for top awards

Ryan Kankowski has been nominated in four categories in the SA Rugby Player of the Year Awards.

Kankowski is one a a number of Sharks players who feature prominently among the nominees. Sharks coach John Plumtree is also favourite to win the Coach of the Year award, while the Sharks should sweep the Team of the Year award as well.

Kankowski is in the running for the Player of the Year, Absa Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year, Super 14 Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards.

The nominations were collated from voting by the rugby media and the winners will be announced at a dinner at Vodaworld, Midrand on 25 November.

NOMINATIONS (in alphabetical order)

SA RUGBY PLAYER OF THE YEAR

(The outstanding rugby player of the 2008 South African season)

Jean de Villiers (Western Province), Bismarck du Plessis, Adrian Jacobs, Ryan Kankowski, Beast Mtawarira (all Sharks).

YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR

(The outstanding young rugby player of 23 years or younger of the 2008 South African season – born in 1985 or later)

Heinrich Brüssow, Robert Ebersohn (Free State Cheetahs), Ryan Kankowski, (Sharks), Nick Koster (Western Province), Beast Mtawarira (Sharks).

TEAM OF THE YEAR

(The outstanding South African team or province of the 2008 season. This may be awarded for performances in a single tournament or for a province/franchise’s performances across a range of competitions)

Platinum Leopards, Sharks (Absa Currie Cup team), Sharks (Super 14 team), Blue Bulls, Vodacom Stormers.

THE ABSA COACH OF THE YEAR

(The outstanding coach of the 2008 South African season)

Eugene Eloff (Golden Lions), Rassie Erasmus (Stormers), Frans Ludeke (Blue Bulls), John Plumtree (Sharks, Absa Currie Cup), Chaka Willemse (Platinum Leopards).

THE ABSA CURRIE CUP PREMIER DIVISION PLAYER OF THE YEAR

(The outstanding player of the 2008 Absa Currie Cup Premier Division season)

Heinrich Brussow (Free State Cheetahs), Jean Deysel, Ryan Kankowski (both Sharks), Wynand Olivier (Blue Bulls), Stefan Terblanche (Sharks).

THE ABSA CURRIE CUP FIRST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE YEAR

(The outstanding player of the 2008 Absa Currie Cup First Division season)

Cecil Afrika, (Griffons), Clayton Durand (Platinum Leopards), Ashley Johnson, Kennedy Tsimba (both Griffons), Vuyo Zangqa (Platinum Leopards).

SUPER 14 PLAYER OF THE YEAR

(The outstanding player of the 2008 Super 14 season)

Andries Bekker, Jean de Villiers, Conrad Jantjes (all Stormers), Ryan Kankowski, Rory Kockott (both Sharks).

VODACOM CUP PLAYER OF THE YEAR

(The outstanding player of the 2008 Vodacom Cup season)

Isma-eel Dollie (Western Province), Burton Francis, Rocco Jansen (both Blue Bulls), Ashley Johnson, Wilton Pietersen (both Free State Cheetahs).

Other awards to be presented at the Annual Awards are The Players’ Player of the Year; The Sasol Sevens Player of the Year; The SASOL SA U20 Player of the Year; The Women’s Player of the Year; The SAA National Club Champs Player of the Tournament; The Marriott Referee Achievement of the Year; The Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Tournament and the Sasol Springbok Journalism Awards for writing, broadcasting and photography.