Rugby: Ian Foster, Ardie Savea lead All Blacks contingent with 2023 World Rugby Awards nominations

Ian Foster and Ardie Savea lead the way for the All Blacks at the World Rugby Awards, nominated for Coach of the Year and Men's 15s Player of the Year respectively.   

With the World Rugby Awards scheduled for Monday (NZ time) - one day after the World Cup final between the All Blacks and South Africa - a healthy number of Kiwis will contend for awards.   

Loose forward Savea, 30, is among the finalists, after proving himself one of the most important players for the All Blacks and one of the most consistent in the world. 

Ian Foster.
Ian Foster. Photo credit: Getty Images

He will contend with Irish-Kiwi midfielder Bundee Aki, France captain Antoine Dupont and South Africa colossus Eben Etzebeth.   

After nearly losing his job in 2022, Foster's redemption arc has taken another step, with his  nomination.    

In his final season with the All Blacks, before Scott Robertson takes the reins in 2024, he can finish on the ultimate high, with both a World Cup winner's medal and the World Rugby award.   

Foster faces competition from Ireland's Andy Farrell, South Africa's Jacques Nienaber and Fiji's Simon Rawalui.   

Two more All Blacks are also in line for honours, with winger Mark Telea and prop Tamaiti Williams nominated for Breakthrough Player of the Year. Louis Bielle-Biarrey of France and Manie Libbok of South Africa will also contend that award.   

Meanwhile, New Zealand's success in the world sevens series has also been reflected, with four players nominated for the men's and women's Player of the Year awards.   

Michaela Blyde and Tyla Nathan-Wong have both been included on the women's shortlist. Nathan-Wong has since switched to rugby league and the NRLW, signing for St George Dragons and debuting in the Kiwi Ferns squad.   

Leroy Carter and Akulia Rokolisoa will also contend for the men's award.  

No finalists have been named for the Women's 15s Player of the Year award, due to the ongoing inaugural WXV 1 competition, but the winner will be announced after the World Rugby Awards ceremony.  

World Rugby Awards nominations:   

Men's 15s Player of the Year: Bundee Aki (Ireland), Antoine Dupont (France), Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), Ardie Savea (New Zealand)   

Men's Sevens Player of the Year: Leroy Carter (New Zealand), Rodrigo Isgro (Argentina), Marcos Moneta (Argentina), Akuila Rokolisoa (New Zealand)   

Women's Sevens Player of the Year: Michaela Blyde (New Zealand), Maddison Levi (Australia), Tyla Nathan-Wong (New Zealand), Reapi Ulunisau (Fiji)   

International Men's Try of the Year: Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland), Damian Penaud (France), Hugo Keenan (Ireland), Vinaya Habosi (Fiji)   

Men's 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year: Louis Bielle-Biarrey (France), Manie Libbok (South Africa), Mark Telea (New Zealand), Tamaiti Williams (New Zealand)   

Coach of the Year: Andy Farrell (Ireland), Ian Foster (New Zealand), Jacques Nienaber (South Africa), Simon Raiwalui (Fiji)

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