Richie McCaw, Jerome Kaino and Ma’a Nonu have been announced as the finalists for New Zealand’s Player of the Year award, while Bryce Lawrence is up for the top referee’s prize.
The trio were instrumental in New Zealand’s World Cup success. In other categories, the All Blacks are heavily favoured to claim the Team of the Year prize ahead of the Crusaders, NZ Sevens side and Canterbury.
The Super Rugby Player of the Year will go to one of Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders), Keven Mealamu (Blues) or Adam Thomson (Highlanders), while Aaron Cruden (Manawatu), Nasi Manu (Canterbury),
and Scott Waldrom (Taranaki) will contest the ITM Cup Player of the Year.
Lawrence, the referee heavily criticised in South Africa after his poor performance in the World Cup quarter-final exit, is up for the Referee of the Year award.