Lukhanyo Am gets the pass away that led to Arendse's early try.
Lukhanyo Am gets the pass away that led to Arendse's early try. Photo: SA Rugby

World Rugby this week unveiled the shortlists for the prestigious World Rugby Awards 2022, which will be presented in Monaco this Sunday, 20 November, with South African expat, Princess Charlene of Monaco, in attendance. South Africa’s Lukhanyo Am is one of the nominees, as well as Nomawethu Mabenge who is up for her try in South Africa’s match against Spain in August.

Following a stellar year for international rugby culminating in a record-breaking Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand, nominees for the sport’s ultimate accolade feature players, coaches and unsung heroes who have made their mark on 2022 both on and off the field.

Selected by the star-studded World Rugby Awards panels, there are nominees in nine categories. Fans can cast their vote on social media (@WorldRugby) and select their winners for the two International Rugby Players Men’s and Women’s Try of the Year categories until Thursday, 17 November at 23:59 GMT.

Twelve countries are represented among the nominees: Australia, Canada, Chile, England, Fiji, France, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales, with Ireland having the most representatives with eight. South Africa doesn’t feature as much this year as last.

Returning to a physical format for the first time since the pandemic, the 22nd World Rugby Awards will be handed to their recipients on 20 November from 19:30 CET. Stars and legends from 15s and sevens will gather in the iconic Salle des Étoiles for a magnificent ceremony under the High Patronage of HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco. The global rugby family can follow the red carpet and evening of celebration on World Rugby social platforms (@WorldRugby).

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The World Rugby Awards are the ultimate accolades for rugby, and we are delighted to honour the outstanding players and individuals who have made an impact on our game on and off the field in 2022.

“On behalf of World Rugby, I would like to congratulate all nominees of this 22nd edition for their incredible achievements over the past calendar year. Not only have they showcased tremendous rugby skills, but they have also inspired millions of fans around the world helping spread the values of our sport.

“I am looking forward to host the global rugby family next Sunday under the high patronage of HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco and the Principality for a night of celebration in Monte-Carlo.”


World Rugby Women’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year

Maud Muir (ENG)
Vitalina Naikore (FIJ)
Maiakawanakaulani Roos (NZL)
Ruby Tui (NZL)

World Rugby Men’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year

Henry Arundell (ENG)
Ange Capuozzo (ITA)
Mack Hansen (IRE)
Dan Sheehan (IRE)

World Rugby Coach of the Year

Andy Farrell, Ireland Men’s 15s
Fabien Galthié, France Men’s 15s
Simon Middleton England Women’s 15s
Wayne Smith, New Zealand Women’s 15s

International Rugby Players Women’s Try of the Year

Sylvia Brunt (New Zealand v Wales on 16 October)
Emily Chancellor (Australia, v England on 30 October)
Abby Dow (England v Canada on 5 November)
Linda Djougang (Ireland, v Wales on 26 March)
Nomawethu Mabenge (South Africa, v Spain on 12 August)

Three team tries and two impressive solo efforts make the list. Sylvia Brunt was on hand to supply the finishing touch for New Zealand against Wales, following a flowing move that was supercharged by a Ruahei Demant break. Australia were eliminated from RWC 2021 at the quarter-final stage but scored one of the tries of the tournament against England as Emily Chancellor slid in after some slick hands in difficult conditions. Another fine team move from Ireland against Wales in the Women’s Six Nations ended with a superb offload from Sam Monaghan to the onrushing Linda Djougang, while South Africa’s Nomawethu Mabenge combined strength, agility and pace to run in from halfway against Spain. England’s Abby Dow showed impressive pace to finish a fine length of the pitch effort at a crucial moment in their Rugby World Cup 2021 semi-final against Canada.

International Rugby Players Men’s Try of the Year

Rodrigo Fernandez (Chile, v USA on 9 July)
Lalakai Foketi (Australia v France on 5 November)
Chris Harris (Scotland, v Italy on 12 March)
Edoardo Padovani (Italy, v Wales on 19 March)
Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales, v South Africa on 2 July)

World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year

Charlotte Caslick (AUS)
Maddison Levi (AUS)
Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe (IRE)
Faith Nathan (AUS)

World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year

Terry Kennedy (IRE)
Nick Malouf (AUS)
Kaminieli Rasaku (FIJ)
Corey Toole (AUS)

World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year

Lukhanyo Am (RSA)
Antoine Dupont (FRA)
Johnny Sexton (IRE)
Josh van der Flier (IRE)
Previous winners Antoine Dupont and Johnny Sexton are in the running to be named Player of the Year for a second time. Dupont, who won the most recent award in 2021, helped France to a men’s Six Nations Grand Slam, scoring tries against Ireland and England. Sexton, named Player of the Year in 2018, and first-time nominee Josh van der Flier were part of the Ireland team that claimed an historic series win against the All Blacks in New Zealand. Lukhanyo Am is also nominated for the first time, having helped the Springboks to a series win against Wales earlier this year.

World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year

Sophie de Goede (CAN)
Ruahei Demant (NZL)
Alex Matthews (ENG)
Laure Sansus (FRA)
Portia Woodman (NZL)

Categories to be awarded on Sunday, 20 November, 2022

World Rugby Referee Award
International Rugby Players Special Merit Award
Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service
World Rugby Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Year
World Rugby Women’s 15s Dream Team of the Year

Source: World Rugby