Nominees unveiled for Sevens player awards

(IRB.COM) Thursday 20 June 2013  
 Nominees unveiled for Sevens player awards
Kayla McAlister is one of four New Zealanders nominated across the two Sevens Awards categories

-    13 nominees representing seven nations as Sevens reaches out to new territories
-    Prestigious awards will cap a stellar year for men’s and women’s Sevens
-    Stars set to shine at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow

With just one week remaining until Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Russia's capital Moscow, the IRB has unveiled the list of nominations for both the IRB Sevens Player of the Year, in association with HSBC, and the IRB Women's Sevens Player of the Year.

In all, eight nations are represented across the two categories with New Zealanders taking four of the 13 nominations after their victorious seasons in both the HSBC Sevens World Series and the inaugural IRB Women's Sevens World Series.

In the men's category the eight nominees are: Afa Aiono (Samoa), Willie Ambaka (Kenya), Cornal Hendricks (South Africa), Frankie Horne (South Africa), Gillies Kaka (New Zealand), Tim Mikkelson (New Zealand), Dan Norton (England), Joji Raqamate (Fiji).

In the women's category the five nominees are: Kelly Brazier (New Zealand), Jennifer Kish (Canada), Kayla McAlister (New Zealand), Emily Scarratt (England) and Kelly van Harskamp (Netherlands).

Members of the public are invited to vote at and on who they think should win the two awards.

At the end of the pool rounds of Rugby World Cup Sevens the lists will be further shortened, taking into account the public poll, the initial nomination voting process and World Cup form, with the two winners announced in Moscow at the conclusion of Rugby World Cup Sevens on Sunday June 30.

IRB Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, said: "Rugby is a sport of character and Sevens showcases the character-building values of integrity, passion, discipline in the form of strong teamwork and the remarkable achievements of our exceptionally gifted men’s and women’s athletes”

“These 13 nominees epitomise the skill, speed, power and excitement that has made our Olympic sport of Sevens a hit around the world and their recognition is a credit to their teams and their nations.”

“My congratulations go to the nominees and every player who has contributed to a stellar year of Rugby Sevens and I look forward to a compelling finale as Rugby Sevens breaks new frontiers in Moscow and our eventual award winners are crowned.”

Sevens Roll of Honour

IRB Sevens Player of the Year
2004 Simon Amor, England
2005 Orene Ai'i, New Zealand
2006 Uale Mai, Samoa
2007 Afeleke Pelenise, New Zealand
2008 DJ Forbes, New Zealand
2009 Ollie Phillips, England
2010 Mikaele Pesamino, Samoa
2011 Cecil Afrika, South Africa
2012 Tomasi Cama, New Zealand

IRB Women's Sevens Player of the Year
While there has been an IRB Women's personality and IRB Women’s Player of the year in the past, the 2013 recipient will be the first winner of the IRB Women's Sevens award.