All Blacks head coach Ian Foster, loose forward Ardie Savea, wing Mark Tele’a and prop Tamaiti Williams are all up for World Rugby awards in Paris on Monday.
Foster, who has led his side to the World Cup final against South Africa at the Stade de France on Sunday morning NZT, has been nominated for coach of the year alongside Ireland’s Andy Farrell, Fiji’s Simon Raiwalui and South Africa’s Jacques Nienaber.
The All Blacks beat Ireland and Argentina in their two knockout matches to make the final, with the Boks beating France and England. Raiwalui’s leadership has been to the fore at this tournament, with Fiji going close against Wales in their pool and then beating Australia for the first time in nearly 70 years.
Foster will be replaced by Scott Robertson after the World Cup. Should the All Blacks win the final it may lead to awkward exchanges with New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson and members of the board who deemed the 58-year-old unsuitable. Precedent suggests Foster will also be in line for a knighthood.
The ultra-consistent Savea has been nominated for world player of the year alongside Boks lock Eben Etzebeth, Ireland’s Bundee Aki and France captain Antoine Dupont. Like Foster, an All Black victory in the final would all but seal the award for Savea.
Tele’a, who scored two tries in the opening World Cup defeat to France, has been shortlisted as a breakthrough player of the year alongside Williams, 23.
Black Ferns sevens players Michaela Blyde and Tyla Nathan-Wong have been nominated for the women’s sevens player of the year, likewise New Zealand men’s players Leroy Carter and Akuila Rokolisoa for the male award.
World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “All those nominated today deserve not only our congratulations but also our thanks for everything they have contributed, on and off the field, to inspire fans and players worldwide, driving rugby forward in 2023 in line with our sport’s values.”
World Rugby awards 2023 nominees
World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year
• Michaela Blyde (New Zealand)
• Maddison Levi (Australia)
• Tyla Nathan-Wong (New Zealand)
• Reapi Ulunisau (Fiji)
World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year
• Leroy Carter (New Zealand)
• Rodrigo Isgro (Argentina)
• Marcos Moneta (Argentina)
• Akuila Rokolisoa (New Zealand)
World Rugby Coach of the Year
• Andy Farrell (Ireland)
• Ian Foster (New Zealand)
• Simon Raiwalui (Fiji)
• Jacques Nienaber (South Africa)
World Rugby Men’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year
• Louis Bielle-Biarrey (France)
• Manie Libbok (South Africa)
• Mark Tele’a (New Zealand)
• Tamaiti Williams (New Zealand)
World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year
• Bundee Aki (Ireland)
• Antoine Dupont (France)
• Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)
• Ardie Savea (New Zealand)