Springbok forward Pieter Steph du Toit has been unveiled as one of eight nominees for the World Rugby Player of the Decade award.
Du Toit, who was named World Rugby Player of the Year after helping the Boks win the World Cup in Japan ladt season, has been nominated alongside All Black stars Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Kieran Read, Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett, as well as Irish flyhalf Johnny Sexton and former France captain Thierry Dusautoir.
The vote is open to the public and will close on October 25.
Other South African players up for awards are Sevens stars Cecil Afrika, Werner Kok, Seabelo Senatla, as well as Bryan Habana and Francois Hougaard.
Du Toit – a three-time SA Rugby Player of the Year – was named World Rugby Player of the Year after the Boks won the Rugby World Cup in Japan last year.
The three Blitzboks, Afrika, Kok and Senatla, have all been crowned World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year in the last decade during a time when the Springbok Sevens team won the World Series twice.
Habana and Hougaard have both walked away with the Try of the Year awards in the last 10 years – the Springbok wing for his sublime effort against New Zealand in Dunedin in 2012, and the nuggety Bok scrumhalf for rounding off a great move from their own 22 against the All Blacks in Johannesburg in 2014.
The World Rugby Awards special edition will also shine the spotlight on members of the rugby family who showcased great solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting their communities, getting involved in relief efforts, and showcasing the sport’s character-building values.
Nominees for World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Decade
Richie McCaw (NZL), Thierry Dusautoir (FRA), Dan Carter (NZL), Kieran Read (NZL), Brodie Retallick (NZL), Beauden Barrett (NZL), Johnny Sexton (IRE), Pieter-Steph du Toit (RSA)
Nominees for World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Decade
Mikaele Pesamino (SAM), Cecil Afrika (RSA), Tomasi Cama (NZL), Tim Mikkelson (NZL), Samisoni Viriviri (FJI), Werner Kok (RSA), Seabelo Senatla (RSA), Perry Baker (USA), Jerry Tuwai (FJI)
Nominees for International Rugby Players Men’s 15s Try of the Decade
Chris Ashton v Australia, 2010 (ENG); Radike Samo v New Zealand, 2011 (AUS); Bryan Habana v New Zealand, 2012 (RSA); Beauden Barrett v France, 2013 (NZL); Francois Hougaard v New Zealand, 2014 (RSA); Julian Savea v France, 2015 (NZL); Jamie Heaslip v Italy, 2016 (IRE); Joaquin Tuculet v England, 2017 (ARG); Brodie Retallick v Australia, 2018 (NZL); TJ Perenara v Namibia, 2019 (NZL)
Nominees for World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Decade
Carla Hohepa (NZL), Michaela Staniford (ENG), Magali Harvey (CAN), Kendra Cocksedge (NZL), Sarah Hunter (ENG), Jessy Trémoulière (FRA), Emily Scarratt (ENG), Portia Woodman (NZL)
Nominees for World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Decade
Kayla McAlister (NZL), Emilee Cherry (AUS), Portia Woodman (NZL), Charlotte Caslick (AUS), Michaela Bylde (NZL), Ruby Tui (NZL)
Nominees for International Rugby Players Women’s 15s Try of the Decade
Alison Miller v New Zealand, 2014 (IRE), Magali Harvey v France, 2014 (CAN), Megan York v France, 2016 (WAL), Danielle Waterman v Canada, 2016 (ENG), Portia Woodman v USA, 2017 (NZL)
The two remaining two categories, Men’s and Women’s 15s Teams of the Decade, will be selected by the World Rugby Awards panel, a stellar team of rugby legends who choose the annual World Rugby Awards player, team and coach winners.
Men’s 15s Team of the Decade panel: Maggie Alphonsi (ENG), Fiona Coghlan (IRE), Thierry Dusautoir (FRA), George Gregan (AUS), Richie McCaw (NZL), Brian O’Driscoll (IRE), Melodie Robinson (NZL), John Smit (RSA) and Clive Woodward (ENG)
Women’s 15s Team of the Decade panel: Maggie Alphonsi (ENG), Liza Burgess (WAL), Lynne Cantwell (IRE), Fiona Coghlan (IRE), Stephen Jones (ENG), Gaëlle Mignot (FRA), Jillion Potter (USA), Melodie Robinson (NZL), Karl TeNana (NZL) and Danielle Waterman (ENG).
There are also awards for Try of the Decade and Sevens Player of the Decade.