Bench warmer gets IRB nomination

Owen Farrell, who has been England’s second-choice flyhalf for their November Tests, has been nominated for the IRB Player of the Year award.

The other nominees are All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, flyhalf Dan Carter and French No 10 Frederic Michalak, who didn’t play for France in the Six Nations as he was representing the Sharks in Super Rugby. All Blacks No 8 Kieran Read, who has been the world champions’ star performer in 2012, surprisingly did not crack the nod.

The nominees were chosen by former players Will Greenwood, Gavin Hastings, Raphael Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Agustin Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana Umaga and Paul Wallace.

McCaw is the only player to receive the individual IRB accolade more than once, having won it in 2006, 2009 and 2010, although Carter could join him as a multiple winner, having been named Player of the Year back in 2005.

The winner will be announced at the 2015 World Cup pool allocation draw in London on 3 December, along with the IRB Coach of the Year and IRB Team of the Year awards.

Previous IRB Player of the Year winners:
2011 – Thierry Dusautoir (France)
2010 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2009 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2008 – Shane Williams (Wales)
2007 – Bryan Habana (South Africa)
2006 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2005 – Dan Carter (New Zealand)
2004 – Schalk Burger (South Africa)
2003 – Jonny Wilkinson (England)
2002 – Fabien Galthie (France)
2001 – Keith Wood (Ireland)