Who should be the world rugby player of the year?

Dane Coles on the rampage against South Africa in Christchurch. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Dane Coles on the rampage against South Africa in Christchurch. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The wait is over. World Rugby has let us know who is in contention for the world player of the year. New Zealand players have won the last four, but will this run be broken? And the nominees, who include a lot of Englishmen, are.-

Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
Has come off the bench to set the game alive at No. 10 with his pace and eye for a gap. Won't win any goalkicking awards though.

Dane Coles (New Zealand)
The most flamboyant hooker...ever. Led Hurricanes to a maiden title. A year of great lineout throwing, apart from Chicago.

Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)
The Ireland number eight is also up for try of the year, for his score against Italy. Nominated in 2009, when Richie McCaw won. And Ireland are on a roll.

Owen Farrell (England)
Moved from No. 10 to inside centre by Eddie Jones. Six Nations top points scorer. An English back as player of the year though?

Maro Itoje (England)
The 22-year-old forward is certainly on the rise. But this high already? Going for the double - also nominated as breakthrough player of the year.

Billy Vunipola (England)
Thundering No. 8 whose potential is being unleashed by Eddie Jones. Better than Facundo Isa, the Pumas might ask?

- NZ Herald

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