Savea among ABs player of year hopefuls

Ardie Savea was named World Rugby Player of the Year for 2023 — and could still add to his trophy cabinet before the year is through.

The All Blacks No 8 has been nominated for All Blacks player of the year at the annual New Zealand Rugby awards, alongside Jordie Barrett, Scott Barrett and Aaron Smith.

Barrett is also a finalist for Super Rugby player of the year alongside Damian McKenzie and Mark Tele’a, while Smith is up for Māori Player of the Year against Billy Harmon, Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu and Stacey Waaka.

The nominations for Black Ferns Player of the Year served up a surprise — World Rugby Player of the Year finalist Ruahei Demant is not among the three nominees.

Either Maiakawanakaulani Roos, Liana Mikaele-Tu’u or Amy du Plessis will claim that honour, as the trio had impressive campaigns at the international level.

In the sevens arena, Waaka, Jorja Miller and Risaleaana Pouri-Lane are the finalists for the Black Ferns Sevens Player of the Year, while Leroy Carter, Akuila Rokolisoa and Dylan Collier are up for the All Blacks Sevens Player of the Year.

The awards will be announced on December 14.

NZR awards

Nominees

Heartland Championship Player of the Year): Siu Kakala (South Canterbury), Stuart Leach (Poverty Bay), Alekesio Vakarorogo (Whanganui).

NPC Player of the Year: Etene Nanai-Seturo (Counties Manukau), Adrian Choat (Auckland), Fergus Burke (Canterbury), Timoci Tavatavanawai (Tasman).

FPC Player of the Year: Krysten Cottrell (Hawke’s Bay), Laura Bayfield (Canterbury), Kaipo Olsen-Baker (Manawatū).

National men’s coach of the year: Nigel Walsh (South Canterbury), Neil Barnes (Taranaki), Scott Robertson (Crusaders).

National women’s coach of the year: Rawinia Everitt (Northland), Blair Baxter (Matatū), Willie Walker (Auckland).

New Zealand coach of the year: All coaches of national teams are eligible.

Super Rugby Pacific player of the year: Mark Tele’a (Blues), Scott Barrett (Crusaders), Damian McKenzie (Chiefs).

Super Rugby Aupiki player of the year: Renee Holmes (Matatū), Lucy Jenkins (Matatū), Luka Connor (Chiefs Manawa), Tanya Kalounivale (Chiefs Manawa).

Tom French Memorial Māori player of the year: Aaron Smith (Ngāti Kahungunu, Manawatū), Billy Harmon (Ngāi Tahu), Stacey Waaka (Ngāi Tūhoe), Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu (Ngā Puhi, Ngāi Tahuhu).

All Blacks Sevens player of the year: Leroy Carter, Akuila Rokolisoa, Dylan Collier.

Black Ferns Sevens player of the year: Jorja Miller, Stacey Waaka, Risaleaana Pouri-Lane.

Black Ferns player of the year: Maiakawanakaulani Roos, Liana Mikaele-Tu’u, Amy du Plessis.

All Blacks player of the year: Jordie Barrett, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith.

National men’s team of the year: Crusaders, Taranaki Bulls, South Canterbury.

National women’s team of the year: Auckland Storm, Northland Kauri, Matatū.

New Zealand team of the year: All national teams are eligible.