Lions dominate SA Rugby Awards nominations

The list of nominees in the various categories were determined after an extensive voting process.

FILE: Emirates Lions Captain Warren Whiteley. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - The nominations are in for the SA Rugby Awards, as expected a number of players from the Lions are in the running for South African rugby's top awards after their successful Super Rugby campaign.

In the running for SA rugby Player of the Year are three Lions, Ruan Combrinck, Jaco Kriel and Warren Whiteley. Stormers second row duo of Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth make up the list.

The Young Player of the Year Award should be hotly contested with Lions duo Riohan Janse van Rensburg and Malcom Marx being rewarded for their breakout season in Super Rugby.

Junior Bok and Sharks back Curwin Bosch is also rewarded for an outstanding year whilst the Bulls forward RG Snyman deserves his spot for consistent performances.

Seabelo Senatla, who was undoubtedly the Blitzboks' shining light this season, makes up the talented list.

Vying for the coaches Award are Johan Ackermann, who guided the Lions to their first Super Rugby final, will face opposition from Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell, who has also been short-listed for the fourth year in a row, and Boland's talented coach Brent Janse van Rensburg in the category for Coach of the Year.

To cap off a fine season for the Lions are contenders for Team of the Year, along with the Olympic bronze medal-winning Springbok Sevens and the Free State Cheetahs, who went unbeaten through the pool phase of the Currie Cup Premier Division.

The six nominations in the two Currie Cup categories are testimony to the fact that new talent annually emerges through these competitions. In the Premier Division, Nico Lee and Ox Nche from the Free State Cheetahs are up against Western Province centre Huw Jones.

George Whitehead, who was a key figure in the Griffons' victory in the First Division Final last weekend, is up against Border's Masixole Banda and Johan Deysel from the Leopards.

The list of nominees in the various categories were determined after an extensive voting process, which included members of the media, sponsors, the provinces and SA Rugby's Rugby Department.

The nominees are (in alphabetical order):

SA Rugby Player of the Year:

  1. Ruan Combrinck

  1. Pieter-Steph du Toit

  1. Eben Etzebeth

  1. Jaco Kriel

  1. Warren Whiteley

Young Player of the Year:

  1. Curwin Bosch

  1. Rohan Janse van Rensburg

  1. Malcolm Marx

  1. RG Snyman

  1. Seabelo Senatla

Team of the Year:

  1. Lions (Super Rugby)

  1. Springbok Sevens

  1. Free State Cheetahs (Currie Cup Premier Division)

Coach of the Year:

  1. Johann Ackermann (Golden Lions)

  1. Brent Janse van Rensburg (Boland)

  1. Neil Powell (Springbok Sevens)

Junior Springbok Player of the Year:

  1. Curwin Bosch

  1. Manie Libbok

  1. Jeremy Ward

SA Sevens Player of the Year:

  1. Kyle Brown

  1. Seabelo Senatla

  1. Rosko Specman

Super Rugby Player of Year:

  1. Ruan Combrinck (Lions)

  1. Elton Jantjies (Lions)

  1. Warren Whiteley (Lions)

Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year:

  1. Huw Jones (Western Province)

  1. Nico Lee (Free State Cheetahs)

  1. Ox Nche (Free State Cheetahs)

Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year:

  1. Masixole Banda (Border)

  1. Johan Deysel (Leopards)

  1. George Whitehead (Griffons)