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Major shake-up announced for World Rugby awards

By Kim Ekin

Trending on RugbyPass

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After taking a year off in 2020, the annual World Rugby awards will again take place following the conclusion of the current season – but there’s a new twist.

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Last year, with a severely differing number of test matches played per nation due to the global pandemic, World Rugby decided to forego the usual annual awards in favour of announcing eight special categories celebrating the previous decade of international rugby.

In 2021, the normal awards will be reintroduced along with a few new additions, but instead of an independent panel deciding the bulk of the award-winners, half will be confirmed through public voting.

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The panel of Ross Karl, Bryn Hall and James Parsons run their eyes over all the developments from the past week of rugby.
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The panel of Ross Karl, Bryn Hall and James Parsons run their eyes over all the developments from the past week of rugby.

World Rugby released a statement on their website confirming the format for the season, as follows:

After a special edition in 2020 due to the pandemic, the prestigious World Rugby Awards return in 2021 to celebrate on-field achievements of the calendar year and recognise the teams and individuals who have inspired players and fans around the world.

Placed at the end of the November international window, the biggest accolades in rugby union will be virtually handed to their recipients from 6-10 December. The 12 categories will be unveiled on World Rugby social media channels including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

FANS AT THE HEART OF THE PROCESS

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Six of these categories will be decided by an online public vote. From 15-21 November, rugby fans will be able to select their deserving winner for World Rugby Men’s and Women’s, 15s and Sevens Player of the Year as well as Men’s and Women’s Try of the Year on the Awards’ voting website and join the conversation using #WorldRugbyAwards.

The remaining six categories will be voted by the World Rugby Awards panel, a stellar team of rugby legends who will have the hard task of selecting winners for the World Rugby Breakthrough, Coach and Referee awards as well as the newly created Men’s and Women’s 15s Dream Teams of 2021.

World Rugby Awards 2021
Award (voted by) – date

World Rugby Referee Award (panel) – 6 Dec
International Rugby Players Men’s Try of the Year (fan) – 6 Dec
International Rugby Players Women’s Try of the Year (fan) – 6 Dec
World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year in association with Tudor (panel) – 7 Dec
World Rugby Coach of the Year (panel) – 7 Dec
World Rugby Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service – 7 Dec
World Rugby Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Year in association with Capgemini (panel) – 8 Dec
World Rugby Women’s 15s Dream Team of the Year in association with Capgemini (panel) – 8 Dec
World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year in association with HSBC (fan) – 9 Dec
World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year in association with HSBC (fan) – 9 Dec
World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year in association with Mastercard (fan) – 10 Dec
World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year in association with Mastercard (fan) – 10 Dec

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