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Lock James Horwill, scrumhalf Will Genia and fullback maestro Israel Folau have been nominated for the International Rugby Player Association's (IRPA) International Player of the Year and World XV of the Year following the release of a 45-strong shortlist of contenders.
Part of the inaugural Ultimate Rugby IRPA Awards, the Fans’ Player of the Year, and World XV of the Year will be decided by votes cast by Rugby fans around the globe on Ultimate Rugby’s mobile app, and announced in conjunction with other category winners on November 26.
For their World XV of the Year award, fans will be asked to pick one of the three nominated finalists in each of the 15 playing positions; for the Player of Year they’ll be invited to choose just one name from the shortlist.
Anyone can vote as a fan: rugby enthusiasts, players, officials – even referees.
All they need to do is to go to www.ultimaterugby.com, download the mobile app and follow the voting instructions contained within.
The 45-man shortlist, prepared by a panel of IRPA recently retired international players, features players from 11 nations, most of whom were in international action during the 2013 year.
Sitiveni Sivivatu has been nominated although his last test for the All Blacks was in August, 2011.
The trio of three Wallabies stars will be vying against 14 players from world ranked No.1 New Zealand, who have the most entries on the shortlist, followed by Six Nations champions Wales (8), South Africa (5), France (4), Argentina and Samoa (3), Ireland (2), and England, Italy and Fiji (1).
The shortlist for the Fans’ Player and World XV of the Year awards (in order of playing position) is:
1. Vincent Debaty (Fr), Alex Corbiseiro (Eng), Marcos Ayerza (Arg)
2. Bismarck Du Plessis (SA), Benjamin Kayser (Fr), Richard Hibbard (Wales)
3. Juan Figallo (Arg), Adam Jones (Wales), Census Johnston (Samoa)
4. Sam Whitelock (NZ), Eben Etzebeth (SA), Joe Tekori (Samoa)
5. James Horwill (Aus), Brodie Retallick (NZ), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
6. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (Arg), Louis Picamoles (Fr), Liam Messam (NZ)
7. Sean O’Brien (Ire), Richie McCaw (NZ), Francois Louw (SA)
8. Kieran Read (NZ), Sergio Parisse (Italy), Toby Faletau (Wales)
9. Kahn Fotuali’i (Samoa), Aaron Smith (NZ), Will Genia (Aus)
10. Dan Carter (NZ), Johnny Sexton (Ire), Aaron Cruden (NZ)
11. George North (Wales), Julian Savea (NZ), Sitiveni Sivivatu (NZ)
12. Jamie Roberts (Wales), Ma’a Nonu (NZ), Jean DeVilliers (SA)
13. Wesley Fofana (Fr), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Conrad Smith (NZ)
14. Israel Folau (Aus), Ben Smith (NZ), Napolioni Nalaga (Fiji)
15. Willie Le Roux (SA), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Israel Dagg (NZ)