Poll: IRB Player of the Year 2012

Owen Farrell

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.
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.
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.

Who should win IRB Player of the Year 2012?

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35 thoughts on “Poll: IRB Player of the Year 2012

  1. Spot the odd one out! He’s got good potential, but no way should Farrell be there – he’s not even first choice for Saracens

    1. that’s a silly comment. He’s been a start for saracens since the age of 18. They have rotation system at saracens between a few of the players; 3 weeks on, 2 weeks off. Get your facts straight

  2. Not even a mention for Rob Kearney who won the European Player of the Year Award in 2012 as well as picking up another Heineken Cup for Leinster?!

  3. Farrell? Beggars belief! – and brings the whole thing into disrepute. Carter has hardly played this year. Can only be McCaw.

  4. How can Farrell be on shortlist. This for 2012 and as it says he is veying for his place

    Wales won Grand Slam !!Ryan Jones most Captaincies and like a good wine gets better with age

  5. Hey Richard,I’ll get my facts straight.The award is for the IRB player of the year,correct? Now can you please tell what the duck is he doing on the list?

  6. Farrell over Cole, Parling, Tuilagi to name but 3 from England, and any of the Welsh Slam team. He’s not even England’s first choice, if its based on his boot in games vs Italy and Scotland then it’s ridiculous. Especially as he’s ahead of the likes of perennially consistent performers like Parisse, Lobbe et al.

  7. Bizarre, Faz will be lucky to get in the Lions squad, let alone be one of the worlds top 4 players! Like how he’s still ahead michalak in the poll though!

  8. Farrell? Really? No, Really? Seriously?
    So no one from the No 2 or No 3 ranked teams in the world then?
    Or from the 6N, Heineken Cup or Super Rugby winning teams?

  9. What a joke. Farrell should be ashamed to be on that list. He won’t even be playing for England next year.

  10. This is embarassing for the IRB. Why would Owen Farrell be anywhere near that list.

    Even Michalak does not really deserve to be on there.

    Fernandez Lobbe?
    Francois Louw?
    Willem Alberts?
    Kieran Read?
    Ruan Piennar?

    The list goes on!!

  11. I hope this ain’t the final list. McCaw hasn’t played that well to be nominated he’s just a good captain. Carter has rarely played and even his rugby season this year wasn’t as flash. Farrell has only just started and hasn’t exactly been a stand-out. Michalk has played really well these last tests but for the sharks he wasn’t anything special. I am surprised to not see Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe in the list since I thought he lead his team extremely well in the championship producing some very pleasing results for his country.

  12. Looks like they are embarrased to be giving it every alternative year to McCaw then Carter so are sticking a couple of joke entries in to distract everyone while they decide which one of those two gets it this time.

  13. Cash for votes! Or more likely some sharp political manoeuvring from other representatives to support a nomination that has no chance of winning.

    Pure comedy.

  14. I honestly thought this was a rugbyblog gag upon first reading. It’s difficult for Farrell because he’ll realise he shouldn’t be on this list but it’s not his fault he’s on there!

    He’ll get silly comments like the one Trevor has made above saying he should be “ashamed” to be on there. He’s got nothing to be ashamed about, he didn’t put himself on the list!

    Can anyone who has voted for him on the poll confirm whether you’re joking or not?! (or justify why he’s there and why you’ve voted for him!)

  15. I’m pretty confused by Owen Farrell. A handful of games for England, many off the bench and with limited impact. I wouldn’t say he was the best player on the England team, never mind being in the top 4 in the world. Michalak has also only played a few games this year it’s just a joke of a list

    Seriously, if anyone was going to be picked from England I might have expected Dan Cole who has played many consecutive tests now and been pivotal in most of them. But missing off Lobbe is a real insult to a captain that has rallied and gotten some serious performances out of his side (and self).

  16. It is a bizarre nomination.

    If he had carried through from the six nations growing as a player and cemented his place as Englands Fly Half, he would arguably have deserved the nomination.

    That hasn’t exactly been the case.

    We can’t forget him winning the games for England in the six nations, but players like Kahn Fotuali’i have emerged and performed well and are arguably more deserving.

    We will see on Saturday how well Owen has progressed. If at the end of the game, he still doesn’t look like an International Fly Half, then Lancaster will have some decisions to make about his future. If he performs well and orchestrates an England win (hahaha) then this will have been an inspired choice.

    1. If we’re measuring his improvement on wether England win or not, then he’s got no chance! His improvement should be measured on his ability to do the right thing with the ball at the right time. i.e. kicking to relieve pressure, to the corners for territory etc. Or running the ball and distributing well to supporting players, and looking for the space to put them in. I believe Farrell is capable of all of these and under pressure, which is something Flood was not really able to do last week.
      The one thing we’ve got to remember, is that although he’s done nothing fancy, he hasn’t really done anything wrong when playing for England.

  17. Strange. McCaw, YEP, Carter, YEP. Then it goes a little odd.

    Farrell – a fine start to his international career (in difficult circumstances).
    Michalak – great form of late. OF LATE !

    Perhaps the nominee is an amalgam of the latter two, and is the best the IRB can come up with to challenge the two ABs?

  18. Farrel is tidy enough but he’s not even the best player in England nor the best back in England. It’s a joke to have him on that list. I’ve tried to understand it but really, it’s a complete joke. If you wanted to reach for a NH player (but really you shouldn’t), well – Lydiate, Faletau, Halfpenny, Sexton, Cole … never in a billion years would anyone have dared to suggest that Farrel was going to end up on this list.

    The panel are John Eales, Will Greenwood, Gavin Hastings, Raphaël Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Agustín Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana Umaga and Paul Wallace. Which of those genuinely thought Farrel was one of the top 4 players in the world this year?

    Say it out loud and realise how dumb it sounds – “Owen Farrel is one of the best 4 rugby players in the world”.

  19. Don’t want to bandwagon it, but it genuinely is absurd that Farrel has been picked. As brighty said, he’s not a bad player, but he isn’t even the starting fly half for a team that isn’t top 4 ranked in the world. It just seems ludicrous.

  20. richie mc caw is the best player in history to play the game ,he has qualities and leadership ,the team respects every thing he says and hats why the all blacks win the big games ,cause he can read the plays in tight pressure situtions while staying calm and composed ,aso he is humble in victory and always respects the oppostion for a good win if his men lose ,this is a no brainer , he hs passed other faous all blacks to stratch his name in stone s nz,s most acomplished and toughest sonof a bitch produced, has smashed all the records in the book can take his men to the next level all the time ,hell , he is a rugby god and all the haters out there can eat dirt causehe will take home his4 th trophy ,i for one will be happy and know i on the money 100 % ,

  21. i would nominate george north or lee halfpenny this is just because they drove the welsh team to the 2012 grandslam which is a achievement however out of them giving owen farrell a few more years he could be irb player of the year but for now, dan carter because he was out of the world cup and is easily best kicker and has made a great start back from injury’

  22. Conrad Smith and Kieran Reid deserved to be on the list more that Carter IMO.

    I agree that Lobbe should be on that list too. Francisco Bosch had some great performances too, and Bryan Habana had a great year after a relatively quiet one last year.

    I have hardly heard of Farrell until now, and not because of outstanding performances either. But good on him for getting on the list, and good luck to him tonight…he’ll need it!

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