Shortlists revealed for World Rugby Team, Coach of the Year accolades
World Rugby has unveiled the shortlists for the Coach of the Year and Team of the Year accolades.
JOHANNESBURG - Rugby World Cup 2015 finalists New Zealand and Australia along with Argentina and Japan are nominated for Team of the Year and this quartet also provide the Coach of the Year shortlist as well.
World Rugby has unveiled the shortlists for the Coach of the Year and Team of the Year accolades, with the winners to be announced at the World Rugby Awards dinner at Battersea Evolution, London, on 1 November.
The World Rugby Team of the Year 2015 nominees are Rugby World Cup 2015 finalists New Zealand and Australia, along with semi-finalists Argentina and Japan, who caused the biggest shock in the tournament's history by beating South Africa on the opening weekend.
The men at the helm of these four nations - Steve Hansen (New Zealand), Michael Cheika (Australia), Daniel Hourcade (Argentina) and Eddie Jones (Japan) - are nominated for the prestigious World Rugby Coach of the Year 2015 award.
The nominees were selected by an independent panel, comprising Australia's RWC 1999-winning captain John Eales (chairman), former Italy and South Africa coach Nick Mallett, former Argentina captain Agustín Pichot, Scott Hastings and his fellow Scot John Jeffrey, a World Rugby Council Member.
New Zealand, under coach Hansen - the recipient of the last three Coach of the Year awards, have lost only one match in 2015, against Australia in The Rugby Championship decider in August. They are bidding to become the first nation to win back-to-back Rugby World Cups.
Australia, who like New Zealand would lift the Webb Ellis Cup for the third time with victory in the final at Twickenham on Saturday, have been transformed over the last 12 months by Cheika, winning The Rugby Championship title and beating five of the top 10 sides in the World Rugby Rankings to reach their fourth Rugby World Cup final.
Argentina have been one of the most exciting teams to watch over the past six weeks as, building on their first-ever victory over South Africa in August, they have followed Hourcade's brief to play an attacking style of rugby to the letter, behind only the All Blacks in points and tries scored at RWC 2015.