Five members of the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup squad have been nominated for the prestigious SA Rugby Player of the Year Award, with the winner due to be announced at a glittering function at Gold Reef City on November 3.
Schalk Burger, Bismarck du Plessis, Francois Hougaard, Pat Lambie and Victor Matfield got the most votes following a nomination process by the country’s rugby media.
Burger and Du Plessis are also nominated in the category for Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Year, while Hougaard and Lambie also feature in the list of nominees for Young Player of the Year.
The only other players to get nominations in more than one category, are the MTN Golden Lions duo of Elton Jantjies (flyhalf) and Jaco Taute (fullback), as well as Toyota Free State Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen, who were all three nominated in the categories for Young Player and Absa Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year.
The DHL Stormers’ performance in Vodacom Super Rugby, where they hosted a home semifinal, is also reflected in the nominations. They are nominated as Absa Team of the Year, Allister Coetzee is one of the five coaches on the shortlist for Absa Coach of the Year and Burger is joined by Gio Aplon and Duane Vermeulen on the list of nominees for Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Year.
Also nominated in the categories for Coach and Team of the Year are Paul Treu and the Springbok Sevens side, who won three tournaments during the 2010/11 HSBC Sevens World Series.
The winners in six other categories have already been determined – Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Tournament, Marriott Referee Award, Women’s Achiever of the Year, SARU National Club Championship Player of the Tournament, SA U20 Player of the Year and Springbok Sevens Player of the Year.
The glittering awards ceremony will have a new feel to it this year as it moves to the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City. Tickets will be available to the public from Computicket from Wednesday, 26 October, while the ceremony will be broadcast live on Supersport from 19:30 on November 3.
THE NOMINEES ARE (in alphabetical order):
SARU Rugby Player of the Year:
Bismarck du Plessis
Young Player of the Year:
Absa Team of the Year:
Regent Boland Cavaliers
MTN Golden Lions
University of Cape Town
Absa Coach of the Year:
Allister Coetzee (DHL Stormers and Western Province)
Eugene Eloff (Regent Boland Cavaliers)
John Mitchell (MTN Lions and Golden Lions)
John Plumtree (The Sharks)
Paul Treu (Springbok Sevens)
Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Year:
Gio Aplon (DHL Stormers)
Schalk Burger (DHL Stormers)
Bismarck du Plessis (The Sharks)
Sarel Pretorius (Toyota Cheetahs)
Duane Vermeulen (DHL Stormers)
Absa Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year:
Johan Goosen (Toyota FS Cheetahs)
Elton Jantjies (MTN Golden Lions)
Frederic Michalak (The Sharks)
Josh Strauss (MTN Golden Lions)
Jaco Taute (MTN Golden Lions)
Absa Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year:
Bolla Conradie (Regent Boland Cavaliers)
Danwel Demas (Regent Boland Cavaliers)
Willie le Roux (Regent Boland Cavaliers)
Luke Watson (EP Kings)
Elgar Watts (Regent Boland Cavaliers)
Vodacom Cup Player of the Year:
Marnitz Boshoff (Vodacom Blue Bulls)
Marcell Coetzee (Sharks XV)
Lionel Cronje (DHL WP)
JJ Engelbrecht (DHL WP)
Juan Imhoff (Pampas XV)