South African rugby fans can nail their colours to the mast by voting for the best Springbok and Blitzbok players, and a few superb tries scored by the Boks in the last decade, after World Rugby announced on Thursday that fans around the world will have a say in the World Rugby Awards Special Edition by selecting the best players and tries of the decade (2010-19).
Six fans’ choice categories open today, with nominees selected from previous World Rugby Award winners. Voting closes next Sunday, 25 October, while the World Rugby Awards panel will also select a men’s and women’s 15s Team of the Decade in the remaining two categories.
The various South Africans up for awards are Pieter-Steph du Toit, Cecil Afrika, Werner Kok, Seabelo Senatla, 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 Final winners will be unveiled during the virtual World Rugby Awards co-hosted by former England international and World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Maggie Alphonsi and rugby presenter Alex Payne on Monday, 7 December. The show will be available for rugby fans globally to watch via World Rugby digital channels.