The All Blacks and Black Caps feature strongly in the list of finalists for the Halberg Awards.

Fifteen different sports are in the list of finalists released yesterday, with cricket and rugby the most represented with three each.

Sixteen of the 24 finalists are in contention for the supreme Halberg Award- the country's highest accolade for sporting excellence.

The finalists in the Sportsman, Sportswoman, Disabled Sportsperson and Team of the Year categories are all eligible for the top award.


Supreme Halberg Award holders Hamish Bond and Eric Murray are in line to defend the top honour again.

The men's rowing pair are shortlisted for the Team of the Year against two other world titleholders: the All Blacks and the men's 49er crew of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.

The Black Caps - New Zealand's first men's team to reach the Cricket World Cup final - round out the category.

The Sportswoman of the Year will again be closely contested with 2014 winner and world No 1 golfer Lydia Ko shortlisted alongside road cycling world champion Linda Villumsen, swimmer Lauren Boyle, who won two silver medals at the Fina world championships, and double world champion canoeist Lisa Carrington.

World Rugby Player of the Year Daniel Carter is a finalist for the Sportsman of the Year along with golfer Danny Lee, who won the Greenbrier Classic on the United States PGA Tour and was selected for the Presidents Cup Team.

IndyCar Series winner Scott Dixon and Black Cap Kane Williamson, who was named the world No 1 test batsman last month, also make the shortlist.

Para-swimmers Nikita Howarth and Sophie Pascoe are up for the Disabled Sportsperson of the Year Award for their achievements at the IPC swimming world championships where Howarth won double gold, and Pascoe claimed three golds, a silver and two bronze medals.

Para-shooter Michael Johnson, who set a world record and won five world cup gold medals, is a contender, as is para-skiier Corey Peters, who won two golds and a silver at the IPC alpine skiing world championships.

Awards finalists
Sportsman of the Year
Daniel Carter (rugby)
Danny Lee (golf)
Kane Williamson (cricket)
Scott Dixon (motorsport)
Sportswoman of the Year
Lauren Boyle (swimming)
Linda Villumsen (cycling)
Lisa Carrington (canoeing)
Lydia Ko (golf)
Disabled Sportsperson of the Year
Corey Peters (para-skiing)
Michael Johnson (para-shooting)
Nikita Howarth (para-swimming)
Sophie Pascoe (para-swimming)
Team of the Year
All Blacks (rugby)
Black Caps (cricket)
Men's pair; Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (rowing)
Men's 49er class; Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (sailing)
Emerging Talent
Campbell Stewart (cycling)
Dylan Schmidt (trampoline)
Eliza McCartney (athletics)
Tai Wynyard (basketball)
Coach of the Year
Gordon Walker (canoeing)
Hamish Willcox (sailing)
Mike Hesson (cricket)
Steve Hansen (rugby)