Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Wynne Gray on Dan Carter: Can you call it a comeback?

Dan Carter is tackled during the Rugby World Cup final. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Dan Carter is tackled during the Rugby World Cup final. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Do sports awards feed from each other and feel they should reflect winners in similar ceremonies?

Nominations for the Laureus Awards next month have delivered the All Blacks into the team section and Daniel Carter into the section for 2015 comeback of the year after their World Cup success.

How do they measure his revival and from what - poor form or struggles?

Have Laureus joined populist commentaries and picked Carter because he won the World Rugby award for the third time as player of the year after the All Blacks repeated their World Cup triumph?

Both results were a neat signoff to Carter's international career after he worked his way steadily into form and confidence in the pool games and then drove lynchpin performances in the latter stages of the tournament.

It had been a difficult year for Carter with his struggles to regain fitness and form with the Crusaders then All Blacks until he clicked up several levels at the World Cup.

When New Zealand Rugby held their subsequent awards and announced their player of the year Carter was in the mix of four contenders.

The judges looked through the weight of each player's work throughout the year and decided Ma'a Nonu had made the heaviest contribution in 2015. It must have been a tight call ahead of both Ben Smith and Dane Coles who were at the epicentre of production throughout 2015.

Other comeback Laureus nominations are heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill, surfer Mick Fanning, swimmer Michael Phelps, athlete David Rudisha and skier Lindsey Vonn.

If the panel wanted a Kiwi candidate for a 2015 comeback they could have picked Grant Elliott for his exploits at the World Cup.

He had been away from the international circuit after a few games in 2013 but hit 310 runs at a 44.28 average and a strike rate of over 100 as New Zealand reached the final.

- NZ Herald

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Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

The latest commentary and analysis from senior rugby writer Wynne Gray. Wynne has been covering the All Blacks for more than 27 years and has attended more than 230 All Blacks tests live for the Herald.

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