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Perenara's acrobatic finish versus Namibia makes shortlist of four for try of the year award

By Online Editors
TJ Perenara dives to score New Zealand's eleventh try against Namibia in Tokyo (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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The contenders for the International Rugby Players (IRP) Try of the Year 2019 have been revealed, with the winner to be announced at the World Rugby Awards in Tokyo on November 3.


Three of the tries shortlisted were scored at World Cup 2019 in Japan, with the other contender scored by Italy captain Sergio Parisse in their Test against Russia in August.

The four tries were selected by the IRP try of the year panel of former players in World Cup winners Fiao’o Faamausili and Bryan Habana along with Jamie Heaslip and Thierry Dusautoir. This panel will select the winner of the 2019 award.

Wales were left reeling following an expression of French flair in their World Cup quarter-final against Les Bleus. Following a barnstorming break from Virimi Vakatawa, the centre offloaded to Romain Ntamack who in turn popped a pass to his half-back partner Antoine Dupont. The scrum-half drew a tackle from Liam Williams and haring up on his right shoulder was flanker Ollivon, who cantered under the posts unopposed.

The Italy captain’s importance to the Azzurri was highlighted against Russia as he began and finished this free-flowing move. Having claimed the lineout and delivered the ball safely to scrum-half Tito Tebaldi, some quick hands in midfield created the space for Jake Polledri to break through and take Italy deep into Russian territory. Tebaldi was on hand to continue the move and ship a pass out to Parisse who powered over the line.

(Continue reading below…)


Playing in the unfamiliar role of fly-half against Namibia at Tokyo Stadium, TJ Perenara side-stepped Prince Gaoseb before racing into opposition territory and producing a stunning pass to George Bridge. Once play was recycled Rieko Ioane popped a pass to Brad Weber whose ridiculous offload found Perenara on the left wing. The All Blacks replacement set a course for the line, brushing off tackles from Obert Nortje and Helarius Kisting to touch down in the corner. Just.

Starting inside his own 22, South Africa fly-half Elton Jantjies produced an inch-perfect kick-pass for winger Warrick Gelant, who evaded DTH van der Merwe and sprinted into the Canadian half. Damian de Allende offered support to keep the move going and in turn spun a pass to scrum-half Cobus Reinach, who breezed under the posts to complete his hat-trick with barely 20 minutes of this Pool B match played.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “After an amazing year of rugby and many incredible tries to choose from, it wasn’t an easy selection for the International Rugby Players’ panel but they have done it brilliantly.”


International Rugby Players’ Conrad Smith, the former All Black and Rugby World Cup winner who chaired the try of the year panel, said: “There were some excellent scores this year and our job to pick a shortlist was a difficult one.

“From the men’s and women’s Six Nations in early 2019 all the way through to the World Cup in Japan, we saw some amazing efforts during the year. These tries really are a testament to the quality of international rugby and the skills on display out there and this sparked some great debate among the panel.”

2018 – Brodie Retallick (New Zealand) – New Zealand v Australia
2017 – Joaquín Tuculet (Argentina) – Argentina v England
2016 – Jamie Heaslip (Ireland) – Ireland v Italy
2015 – Julian Savea (New Zealand) – New Zealand v France
2014 – Francois Hougaard (South Africa) – South Africa v New Zealand
2013 – Beauden Barrett (New Zealand) – New Zealand v France
2012 – Bryan Habana (South Africa) – South Africa v New Zealand
2011 – Radike Samo (Australia) – Australia v New Zealand
2010 – Chris Ashton (England) – England v Australia
2009 – Jaque Fourie (South Africa) – South Africa v British and Irish Lions
2008 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) – Australia v Ireland
2007 – Takudzwa Ngwenya (USA) – South Africa v USA

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Perenara's acrobatic finish versus Namibia makes shortlist of four for try of the year award