Soweto’s stars recognised

Three Bulls players and two from the Stormers comprise the shortlist for the SA Rugby Player of the Year nominees.

The Bulls are represented by flyhalf Morne Steyn, scrumhalf and current holder of the award Fourie du Preez and young wing Gerhard van den Heever. They are joined by Stormers lock Andries Bekker and centre Jaque Fourie.

The five polled the most votes among rugby media from a total of 26 players that were nominated.

Steyn, Du Preez and Bekker are the three front runners for the award. Steyn set a record of 263 points in a Super Rugby season, while Du Preez’s all round excellence was central to his team’s success. Bekker excelled at lock for the Stormers throughout their campaign.

Meanwhile Blue Bulls players also dominate the nominees for the Vodacom Cup Player of the Year with captain Gerrit-Jan van Velze, fullback Tiger Mangweni and flyhalf Francois Brummer all on the list.

Free State flyhalf Louis Strydom and Sharks No 10 Monty Dumond completed the nominations.

The winners of the awards, as well as the rest of the SA Rugby Player of the Year awards, will be announced at the Springbok banquet on 2 November.