The World Rugby Awards Special Edition voting is now open, giving fans across the globe the opportunity to have their say on who should walk away with six awards on 7 December.
Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the global game, it was announced last month that the usual 12 World Rugby Awards would not be presented this year.
Instead, a special edition World Rugby Awards will celebrate members of the rugby family who have provided incredible service to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic and players and teams who have starred over the last decade.
Fans have until 25 October to vote on the following categories, which will be decided by the public:
- Men’s 15s Player of the Decade in association with Tudor
- Women’s 15s Player of the Decade in association with Tudor
- International Rugby Players Men’s 15s Try of the Decade
- International Rugby Players Women’s 15s Try of the Decade
- Men’s Sevens Player of the Decade in association with HSBC
- Women’s Sevens Player of the Decade in association with HSBC
Each World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year since 2010, including three-time winners Dan Carter and Richie McCaw and 2019 recipient, Pieter-Steph du Toit have been shortlisted for the Men’s 15s Player of the Decade award in association with Tudor.
Similarly, the World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year winners since 2010, from Black Fern Carla Hohepa to England's 2019 recipient Emily Scarratt, have been nominated for World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Decade in association with Tudor.
Meanwhile, Chris Ashton, Radike Samo, Bryan Habana, Beauden Barrett, Francois Hougaard, Julian Savea, Jamie Heaslip, Joaquín Tuculet, Brodie Retallick and TJ Perenara are in contention for International Rugby Players (IRP) Men’s 15s Try of the Decade.
Magali Harvey — who was shortlisted for the IRPA Try of the Year Award 2014 — is up against Alison Miller, Megan York, Danielle Waterman and Portia Woodman for IRP Women’s 15s Try of the Decade.
Woodman could complete a hat-trick on 7 December. The Black Ferns star has also been nominated for World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Decade and World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Decade in association with HSBC.
She faces competition from fellow World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year recipients Kayla McAlister, Emilee Cherry, Charlotte Caslick, Michaela Blyde and Ruby Tui for the sevens award.
Two-time World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year, Perry Baker is one of nine nominees for World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Decade in association with HSBC. The USA speedster is up against past World Rugby Men’s Sevens Players of the Year recipients Mikaele Pesamino, Cecil Afrika, Tomasi Cama, Tim Mikkelson, Samisoni Viriviri, Werner Kok, Seabelo Senatla and Jerry Tuwai.
While fans will pick the winners of these six categories, the task of selecting a Men's 15s Team of the Decade and Women's 15s Team of the Decade falls to the World Rugby Awards panel, a stellar team of rugby legends that historically choose the World Rugby Awards winners.
The World Rugby Awards Special Edition will be co-hosted by former England international and World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Maggie Alphonsi and rugby presenter Alex Payne on Monday, 7 December. The show will be made available for free to rugby fans globally via World Rugby’s digital channels.
Alphonsi said: “As our sport carefully begins to restart around the world, it is important to keep celebrating what makes rugby so special: its values, communities and best performers. I am truly honoured to co-host the show with Alex, and I look forward to unveiling the winners to rugby fans from around the world in December.”
Voting will stay open until Sunday, 25 October. To cast your vote, click here.