Ruan Combrinck, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Jaco Kriel and Warren Whiteley have been named as the nominees for SA Rugby Player of the Year.
All five players enjoyed outstanding Super Rugby seasons, while also playing important roles for the Boks, with Combrinck and Kriel making their Test debuts.
In the Team of the Year category, the Lions’ Super Rugby side have been nominated alongside the Springbok Sevens and Free State Cheetahs.
The Lions’ Johan Ackermann has been nominated as Coach of the Year for a fourth consecutive year, but will face competition from Brent Janse van Rensburg (Boland) and Neil Powell (Springbok Sevens).
Malcolm Marx and Rohan Janse van Rensburg are up against Curwin Bosch, RG Snyman and Seabelo Senatla in the category for Young Player of the Year, while the Super Rugby Player of the Tournament will be Combrinck, Whiteley or Elton Jantjies.
The list of nominees in the various categories was determined after an extensive voting process, which included members of the media, sponsors, provinces and SA Rugby’s rugby department. The awards ceremony will be held on 24 October in Johannesburg.
The nominees are (in alphabetical order):
SA Rugby Player of the Year:
Pieter-Steph du Toit
Young Player of the Year:
Rohan Janse van Rensburg
Team of the Year:
Emirates Lions (Super Rugby)
Toyota Free State Cheetahs (Currie Cup Premier Division)
Coach of the Year:
Johann Ackermann (Golden Lions)
Brent Janse van Rensburg (Boland)
Neil Powell (Springbok Sevens)
Junior Springbok Player of the Year:
SA Sevens Player of the Year:
Super Rugby Player of Year:
Ruan Combrinck (Lions)
Elton Jantjies (Lions)
Warren Whiteley (Lions)
Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year:
Huw Jones (Western Province)
Nico Lee (Free State Cheetahs)
Ox Nche (Free State Cheetahs)
Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year:
Masixole Banda (Border)
Johan Deysel (Leopards)
George Whitehead (Griffons)
Photo: Johan Rynners/Gallo Images