World Rugby is set to hand out its annual player awards in a couple of weeks.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont, speaking about the dinner ceremony, told the AAP, “There have been numerous highlights from a fascinating year of international rugby that comprised an outstanding Women’s Rugby World Cup, a compelling British and Irish Lions tour, Six Nations and The Rugby Championship competitions and a superb program of Test rugby. I am sure there will be lots of debate over the coming weeks. I’d like to thank the panel for their expert consideration and look forward to the winners being announced at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco.”
Israel Folau is the lone Australian to make the list for World Rugby’ Player of the Year award. Folau could have easily broken the record of greatest Test try scorer of all-time, but he apparently needed some time away from the game to let his brain decompress and his body mend. He would have broken the record during the Wallabies’ current spring tour had he not opted to take a spell.
Folau was the top scorer in this season’s Rugby Championship, scoring 12 tries over the span of the last 10 Test matches in which he participated.
He is a native of the Sydney suburb of Minto, and the 28-year-old played for the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos of the NRL and has been seen as a representative for Australia, Queensland and the NRL All Stars.
He now plays fullback and centre in union for the NSW Waratahs, where he has played 73 games and scored 44 tries.
Code hopper extraordinaire, he played 13 games of the AFL’s Greater Western Sydney Giants in 2011 and 2012, when he was again on a brief hiatus from rugby.
He will vie for the Player of the year award with a pair of Kiwis, Beauden Barrett and Rieko Ioane. England has Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje on the nominations list.