Rugby: ABs pair up for top prize

Ben Smith and Kieran Read could soon add more silverware to their collection after being nominated for world player of the year. Photo / Getty
Ben Smith and Kieran Read could soon add more silverware to their collection after being nominated for world player of the year. Photo / Getty

The All Blacks' glittering year could continue at the IRB end-of-year awards after Kieran Read and Ben Smith were shortlisted for the top prize.

A win against Ireland tomorrow morning to complete a perfect 2013 may not be the last of the acclaim, with the pair joining three other nominees for the world player of the year award.

South African lock Eben Etzebeth, Italian No 8 Sergio Parisse and Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny will form competition but both All Blacks will present strong cases.

Smith has scored 11 tries while his side have won 13 tests from 13 this year, while Read is arguably the All Blacks' new talisman and would be a worthy candidate to claim the prize won last year by Dan Carter.

The winner, to be selected by a panel after a public vote is factored in, will be unveiled along with team and coach of the year shortly after the November internationals.

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