Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has been nominated for Coach of the Year for the Halberg Awards.
The official nomination comes just two weeks after the Kiwi-born coach was named World Rugby's Coach of the Year and his shock announcement to finish coaching after next year's Rugby World Cup.
Schmidt was widely tipped as the favourite to take over the All Blacks role if Steve Hansen was to step away, for his incredible effort in leading Ireland to the second-ranked rugby side in the world and recently leading Ireland to a historic 16-9 victory over the World Champions in Dublin.
He will go up against the likes of Lisa Carrington's coach Gordon Walker, Scotsman Clark Laidlaw coach of the All Blacks Sevens, and Allan Bunting of the Black Ferns Sevens for the prestigious award.
The list of initial nominations across all categories were announced today with the finalists to be named in the New Year.
2016 supreme Halberg Award winner Lisa Carrington leads the nominations for the Sportswoman of the Year with 22 nominations from 15 sports announced.
World champion shot putter Tom Walsh, the 2017 winner, heads the 18 nominations from 12 sports for the Sportsman of the Year award which includes All Blacks duo Brodie Retallick and Richie Mo'unga as well as Black Caps batsman Ross Taylor and Indy Car champion Scott Dixon.
Five time winner Sophie Pascoe has again been nominated for the newly named Para Athlete/Team of the Year award along with Adam Hall (para alpine skiing), Aotearoa NZ Para Waka Ama V12 (para waka ama), Commonwealth Games Para-Triples – Barry Wynks, Bruce Wakefield, Mark Noble (para bowls), Corey Peters (para alpine skiing), Holly Robinson (para athletics), Michael Johnson (para shooting), Nicole Murray (para cycling), Rachel Maia (para climbing) and Scott Martlew (para canoe racing).
New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year
Lisa Carrington (canoe racing), Abby Erceg (football), Alana Barber (athletics), Caitlin Ryan (canoe racing), Eliza McCartney (athletics), Evie Corrigan (powerlifting), Jo Edwards MNZM (bowls), Joelle King (squash), Jonelle Price (equestrian), Julia Ratcliffe (athletics), Kendra Cocksedge (rugby union), Lydia Ko (golf), Marquita Gelderman (orienteering), Michaela Blyde (rugby union), Olivia Eaton (surf lifesaving), Rushlee Buchanan (cycling), Ruth Croft (athletics), Sarah Goss (rugby union), Stacey Michelsen (hockey), Suzie Bates (cricket), Valerie Adams (athletics) and Zoe Sadowski-Synnott (snowboarding).
Sportsman of the Year Award
Brodie Retallick (rugby union), Codie Taylor (rugby union), David Andrew Liti (Olympic weightlifting), David Nyika (boxing), George Bennett (cycling), Michael Venus (tennis), Nico Porteous (freeskiing), Paddy Chapman (croquet), Patrick Bevin (cycling), Richie Mo'unga (rugby), Ross Taylor (cricket), Sam Gaze (cycling), Sam Webster (cycling), Scott Dixon (motorsport), Scott McLaughlin (motorsport), Steven Kent (surf life saving) and Tim Robertson (orienteering).
Para Athlete/Team of the Year
Sophie Pascoe (para swimming) Adam Hall (para alpine skiing), Aotearoa NZ Para Waka Ama V12 (para waka ama), Commonwealth Games Para-Triples – Barry Wynks, Bruce Wakefield, Mark Noble (para bowls), Corey Peters (para alpine skiing), Holly Robinson (para athletics), Michael Johnson (para shooting), Nicole Murray (para cycling), Rachel Maia (para climbing) and Scott Martlew (para canoe racing).
Team of the Year
All Black Sevens (rugby union), Black Ferns Sevens (rugby union), Women's Doubles - Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy (squash), Men's Double Scull - John Storey and Chris Harris (rowing), Men's Team Sprint – Eddie Dawkins, Ethan Mitchell and Sam Webster (cycling), NZ Indoor Cricket 17 years and under boys (indoor cricket), NZ Junior Black Fins (surf life saving), NZ Underwater Hockey Men (underwater hockey), NZ Underwater Hockey Women (underwater hockey), NZ Football Under 17 Women (football), NZ Women's Kayaking Team (canoe racing), Vantage Black Sticks Women (hockey), Women's Double Scull - Brooke Donoghue and Olivia Loe (rowing) and Women's Pair - Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler (rowing).
Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year
Gordon Walker (canoe racing) Allan Bunting (rugby), Chris Waller (horse racing), Clark Laidlaw (rugby union), Dale Stevenson (athletics), Eugene Bareman (mixed martial arts), Jason Pocock (surf life saving), Jeremy McColl (athletics), Joe Schmidt (rugby union), Kiwi Campbell (waka ama), Leon Birnie (football), Marcelo Lopes (mixed martial arts), Raylene Bates MNZM (para athletics) and Roly Crichton (para swimming).
Amelia Kerr (cricket), Anna Leat (football), Dylan McCullough (triathlon), Gaibreill Wainohu (waka ama), Hamish McLean (para swimming), Jocelyn Hong (ice figure skating), Josh Armit (yachting), Kanah Andrews-Nahu (Olympic weightlifting), Kyle Glogoski (baseball), Lewis Clareburt (swimming), Maddison-Lee Wesche (athletics), Maxwell Darling (basketball), Rebecca Jones (archery), Risaleaana Pouri-Lane (rugby union) and Zac Reid (surf life saving).