Eben Etzebeth award
Springbok lock, Eben Etzebeth. Image: @Springboks

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Eben the favourite for Men’s Player of the Year Award

Eben Etzebeth is the favourite among five players who have been nominated for the SA Rugby Men’s Player of the Year Award for 2023.

28-11-23 18:24
Eben Etzebeth award
Springbok lock, Eben Etzebeth. Image: @Springboks

Five members of the Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok squad in France – Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Frans Malherbe and Damian Willemse – were nominated for the coveted SA Rugby Men’s Player of the Year Award for 2023, with Etzebeth up to defend the title he won last season.

SA Rugby announced the nominees – as voted for by members of the media and key stakeholders within the governing body – in nine categories on Tuesday. The winners will be named early next year, along with the annual OUTsurance Referee of the Year and the Provincial Women’s Player of the Year.

Etzebeth will face stern competition from Kolisi and Du Toit, the winners of the Player of the Year Awards in 2021 and 2019 respectively, as well as Bok scrum anchor Malherbe and Willemse, a previous nominee in the category for Young Player of the Year (U23) and winner of the Youth Weeks Player of the Year Award in 2016.

Nadine Roos will also defend her title as Springbok Women’s Player of the Year, against former winners Aseza Hele and Babalwa Latsha, as well as Libbie Janse van Rensburg and Rights Mkhari.

Four of the five nominees for the Young Player of the Year Award were also on the shortlist last year, when Canan Moodie beat off the challenges of Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, Jaden Hendrikse and Evan Roos. This year, Ruan Venter has also been nominated.

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The nominees are (in alphabetical order):

SA Rugby Men’s Player of the Year
Pieter-Steph du Toit
Eben Etzebeth
Siya Kolisi
Frans Malherbe
Damian Willemse

Springbok Women’s Player of the Year
Aseza Hele
Libbie Janse van Rensburg
Babalwa Latsha
Rights Mkhari
Nadine Roos

SA Rugby Young Player of the Year
Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (DHL Stormers)
Jaden Hendrikse (Springboks / Hollywoodbets Sharks)
Canan Moodie (Springboks / Vodacom Bulls)
Evan Roos (Springboks / DHL Stormers)
Ruan Venter (Emirates Lions)

Springbok Sevens Men’s Player of the Year
Ricardo Duarttee
Christie Grobbelaar
Shilton van Wyk

Junior Springbok Player of the Year
Corne Beets
Paul de Villiers
Damian Markus

Team of the Year
Toyota Cheetahs (Currie Cup)
Springboks
DHL Stormers (Vodacom URC)

Coach of the Year
John Dobson (DHL Stormers)
Hawies Fourie (Toyota Cheetahs)
Jacques Nienaber (Springboks)

Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year
Tinus de Beer (Airlink Pumas)
Ruan Pienaar (Toyota Cheetahs)
Devon Williams (Airlink Pumas)

Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year
Keagan Fortune (Valke)
Darian Hock (Boland Kavaliers)
Cameron Hufke (Boland Kavaliers)

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