World Rugby Awards LIVE: Everything you need to know about the 2019 gongs

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

South Africa are officially the world champions but which individuals will be recognised for their 2019 seasons?

The World Rugby awards will be held in Tokyo, kicking off at 7pm AEDT, with a who's who of international rugby figures both past and present to attend.

Check out all of the major awards, the nominees and our predictions right here and watch every moment of the night live on Twitter.


Men's XVs Player of the Year

Tom Curry (England)

Curry has been one of the standouts for England in 2019 and played a crucial role in their run to a Rugby World Cup final. The youngest of the nominees at 21, Curry has already shown he has a long future ahead in international rugby.

Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa)

A try-scoring machine for the Springboks this year, the pocket rocket has lit up the Test stage in 2019. Kolbe has started seven Tests in 2019 and scored six tries along the way, including the match-sealer in Saturday's World Cup final.

Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa)

Du Toit has made the no. 7 jersey his own for the Springboks this year, moving out of the second row to be a permanent back rower. He has worried teams around the world with his work at the breakdown and was among the best for South Africa in almost every match he played.

Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

The Welsh skipper has smashed Test records in 2019, becoming his country's most-capped player but his mature years have not slowed down his influence. Led Wales to an historic Grand Slam Six Nations win this year and though they couldn't get the job done in Japan, Wyn Jones' impact for his team has been immense.

Ardie Savea (New Zealand)

Savea has shown his versatility in 2019, playing across the back row for the All Blacks. The flanker is a beast at the breakdown and has wreaked havoc on opponents in every Test he has featured.

Joe Taufete'e (USA)

Probably the least well-known of any of the nominees but Taufete'e has been a standout for the USA in 2019. The hooker became the most prolific front-row scorer ever this year after a hat-trick against Uruguay took his tally to 18 tries from just 21 Tests, eclipsing Keith Wood's mark.

Prediction: Pieter-Steph du Toit

Women's XVs Player of the Year

Katy Daley-McLean (England)

The Test centurion is the most experienced of the nominees this year but the flyhalf showed in 2019 that there is no declining with age. The flyhalf was the leading points scorer in the women's Six Nations this season and became just the third England player, man or woman, to notch 500 Test points, sitting behind only Johnny Wilkinson and Owen Farrell in this feat.

Pauline Bourdon (France)

Bourdon has quickly become a fixture in the top echelon of the game, nominated for this award for the second year running. Can play at nine or 10, playing both spots in France's Six Nations campaign, and playing a starring role in France's series win over New Zealand earlier this year.

Sarah Bern (England)

She might be a prop but Bern certainly doesn't play like it, showing off her athleticism in every test outing. Bern scored five tries in the Red Roses' Grand Slam-winning Six Nations campaign, second only to winger Jess Breach.

Kendra Cocksedge (New Zealand)

Cocksedge is in the running for her second World Rugby Player of the Year gong after another outstanding season. The scrumhalf became just the second Black Fern to notch 50 Tests when she hit the mark earlier this year and was among the best in every one of New Zealand's outings.

Emily Scarratt (England)

A star of both XVs and Sevens rugby, Scarratt made a seamless transition back into the longer format of the game this year. The centre was solid in the Six Nations but really came into her own in the Super Series in San Diego in the middle of the year.

Prediction: Katy Daley-McLean

Breakthrough Player of the Year

Joe Cokanasiga (England)

Cokanasiga made an impact on debut, scoring a try in his first match against Japan last November. Only played one World Cup match but was impressive in that outing against the USA.

Herschel Jantjies (South Africa)

The pint-sized halfback has gone from strength to strength in his first season in Test rugby. Scored a double in his first Rugby Championship match against Argentina and never looked back.

Romain Ntamack (France)

Ntamack graduated from France's 2018 U20 World Rugby Championship team to Test rugby in 2019 and he made a seamless transition. Son of 1999 finalist Emile, Ntamack has developed into France's starting 10 and helped steer them to a World Cup quarter-final.

Prediction: Romain Ntamack

Try of the Year

Charles Ollivon (France)

TJ Perenara (New Zealand)

Sergio Parisse (Italy)

Cobus Reinach (South Africa)

Prediction: TJ Perenara

Men’s Sevens Player of the Year

Folau Niua (USA)

Niua became the USA's most-capped player when he ran out in Sydney in February and he was a key part of the USA's most successful World Series this year. The playmaker, who is a dangerous kicker off both feet, proved influential for his country and was named in the 2019 Dream Team.

Stephen Tomasin (USA)

Tomasin is the youngest nominee but he showed  this season that he is a player to be feared. Tomasin was the USA's second-highest try scorer behind points machine Carlin Isles and played a crucial role in America's run to 10 Cup semi-finals.

Jerry Tuwai (Fiji)

Fiji's former skipper is becoming a regular in the World Rugby nominee lists, impossible to ignore year after year. Was pivotal in Fiji's run to another World Series title and continues to be a player that opponents fear.

Prediction: Stephen Tomasin

Women’s Sevens Player of the Year

Sarah Hirini (New Zealand)

The Black Ferns 7s captain has had a career-best year on the World Series circuit. Nominated for the fourth time in six years, Hirini's relentless work ethic and flawless execution has provided the platform for her team's 2018-19 success.

Tyla Nathan-Wong (NZL)

Nathan-Wong finished the 2018-19 World Series as the leading points-scorer, nabbing 207 along the way. The playmaker has the ability to create tries from nothing and her creativity has taken centre stage this season.

Ruby Tui (NZL)

Ruby Tui has cemented herself as one of the world's best players and her 2018-19 form has only increased that reputation. One of the most intimidating figures in World Seven,s Tui's physicality and athleticism make her a major weapon for New Zealand.

Prediction: Tyla Nathan-Wong

Team of the Year


England qualified for their first World Cup final in 12 years after beating the Wallabies and New Zealand on the way to the decider. While they fell short at the final hurdle, England's turnaround to being a world force has been an incredible transformation.


Japan captured the hearts and minds of rugby fans all around the world with an historic World Cup quarter-final berth. An upset win over Ireland was the shock of the Rugby World Cup and they backed up that surprise with a clinical win over Scotland in their final pool match. Suffered just two losses in 2019 - both to World Cup champions South Africa.

New Zealand

Fell short of a third consecutive World Cup win but still had a relatively strong season. Won seven of their 10 Tests this year and finished second in the Rugby Championship to South Africa.

South Africa

The World Cup champions lost just one Test this year - a World Cup pool defeat to New Zealand - before their run to an historic title. Took out the Rugby Championship as well as the World Cup and will end the year as the world no. 1 team.


Warren Gatland bowed out of the Wales coaching role after an historic year for his team. The Welsh won a Six Nations grand Slam and beat the Wallabies in their World Cup pool match in Tokyo.  Briefly held the world no. 1 ranking.

Prediction: South Africa

Coach of the Year

Rassie Erasmus (South Africa)

Erasmus took over the Springboks coaching duties reluctantly in 2018 but he has transformed this team into world champions. The former Munster and Stormers coach led the Springboks to a Rugby Championship win before the South Africans' run to the biggest title of all.

Warren Gatland (Wales)

Gatland finished his 12-year tenure with Wales in 2019, capping off his time in charge with plenty of success. While they finished fourth in the Rugby World Cup, Wales won the Six Nations with a Grand Slam and knocked off some long-time droughts along the way.

Steve Hansen (New Zealand)

Hansen's time as New Zealand coach wrapped up with some disappointment but the Kiwis still had an overall successful season. Finished second in the Rugby Championship before being knocked out of the Rugby World Cup by a clinical England side.

Eddie Jones (England)

Jones could become the World Rugby Coach of the Year winner for the second time in three years after being nominated this year. Timed his team's preparation to perfection in a superb World Cup campaign but fell at the final hurdle.

Jamie Joseph (Japan)

Joseph completed probably the most unexpected result of any in the Rugby World Cup, taking Japan to its first World Cup quarter-final. The Japanese captured the imagination of boththeir own and opposition fans in the World Cup with their run to the final eight.

Prediction: Jamie Joseph