The IRB has announced a short shortlist for the IRB Player of the Year award for 2012, and we’d like your view on who you think should win.
Owen Farrell is named alongside Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Frederic Michalak – and this is the official IRB list before anyone queries the poll options!
Here is the blurb from the press release:
RICHIE MCCAW (New Zealand)
The most capped All Black in history with 115 Tests and 19 tries to his name, McCaw continues to raise the bar and ensure that New Zealand do not rest on their laurels after last year’s Rugby World Cup success. An inspirational leader, the 31-year-old openside flanker has enjoyed another record-breaking season by becoming the first player to post 100 Test wins and most wins as captain. The benchmark by which all openside flankers are judged, McCaw will take a six-month sabbatical from the Game in 2013.
DAN CARTER (New Zealand)
The leading point-scorer in Test rugby, Carter boasts a CV with every major honour on it from Super Rugby success with the Crusaders to World Cup glory, even if a groin injury kept him sidelined for much of last year’s success. The finest fly half of his generation, though, is still hungry for more and remains as important to the All Blacks’ cause as McCaw. Carter is the complete package and, even in a season against disrupted by injury, has been the catalyst for many a New Zealand victory in 2012, even slotting over a rare drop goal at the death to break Irish hearts in Christchurch.
OWEN FARRELL (England)
The son of former England dual code international Andy, the young fly half enjoyed a rapid rise from IRB Junior World Championship finalist in June 2011 to make his Test debut against Scotland on the opening weekend of the RBS 6 Nations. One of the star turns of that Championship, Farrell headed to South Africa as England’s number one, but is currently vying for the No.10 shirt with Toby Flood and Freddie Burns. However, he has plenty of time on his side, having only turned 21 in September, and could reach a century of Test points on Saturday against the world champions.
FRÉDÉRIC MICHALAK (France)
Recalled to the French national team after an absence of more than two years by coach Philippe Saint-André for the June tour to Argentina, Michalak has been the architect of Les Bleus’ run of four consecutive victories over Argentina (twice), Australia and Samoa which have secured them a top four IRB World Rankings for the RWC 2015 Pool Allocation. The rejuvenated fly half has returned from another spell in Super Rugby with the Sharks to reignite an international career that looked to have stalled with just four appearances since RWC 2007.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “It has been a compelling year of international Rugby with the introduction of the expanded Tours and Tests calendar, Argentina’s successful inauguration into The Rugby Championship and the race for rankings points to secure a favourable RWC 2015 Pool draw.”
“As ever, the competition has been fierce and the panel had a tough time deliberating the shortlist from a number of stand-out candidates. All four players on the shortlist thoroughly deserve their place after standout performances during the year and consistency in the tough environment that is Test Rugby.”
Who do you think should win? Place your vote below, and if you pick Other, add a comment to explain your choice.