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Marx, De Klerk up for world rugby player of the year prize

Two Springboks, Malcolm Marx and Faf de Klerk, are among a group of five players nominated for the prestigious 2018 world rugby player of the year award.

The Springboks get the ball wide during the Rugby Championship match against the Wallabies. Picture: @Springboks/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Two Springboks, Malcolm Marx and Faf de Klerk, are among a group of five players nominated for the prestigious 2018 world rugby player of the year award.

Marx (hooker) and De Klerk (scrumhalf) join their Springbok colleague Aphiwe Dyantyi as South African nominees for the various 2018 World Rugby accolades, after the Bok speedster was shortlisted as one of three candidates for the breakthrough of the year prize.

World Rugby confirmed the shortlists for the men’s and women’s 15s player of the year awards for 2018, which will be presented at the World Rugby Awards at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo on 25 November. Following a stellar year for international rugby, the shortlists for the ultimate accolade feature players who have excited and inspired fans around the world with their feats in 2018.

The Springbok duo will be up against All Blacks Beauden Barrett and Rieko Ioane, as well as Ireland’s Johnny Sexton for 2018 men’s 15s player of the year award, in association with Mastercard.

Marx, the Boks’ a dynamic ball-carrying hooker, has played the fewest tests of the nominees with only six, having missed the June internationals through injury.

With five starts and a try in the win over New Zealand in Wellington, the 24-year-old Marx has picked up where he left off in 2017, combining athleticism, power, pace and a wide skill-set in attack with the breakdown skills to turnover many a ball for South Africa.

De Klerk returned to the Springbok jersey after missing the 2017 Test season and quickly made himself indispensable, showing why rugby is a sport for all with his ferocious defence and fearless play despite his small stature.

The 27-year-old played virtually every minute of South Africa’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign, scoring tries against Argentina and Australia and proving a constant thorn in the side of his opposite numbers across his nine starts.

The nominees for women’s 15s player of the year are: Pauline Bourdon (France), Fiao’o Faamausili (New Zealand), Gaëlle Hermet (France), Safi N’Diaye (France) and Jessy Trémoulière (France).

Both shortlists were selected by the World Rugby Awards panel which comprises Rugby World Cup winners Richie McCaw, John Smit, George Gregan, Maggie Alphonsi and former England coach Clive Woodward alongside Brian O’Driscoll, Fabien Galthié and Agustín Pichot.

Fans and media have been able to have their say on the players who have stood out for them in 2018 and now international captains and coaches will join the panel for one final vote to determine the winners of the prestigious awards.

These awards are two of 13 categories of awards, including the team of the year, coach of the year, men’s and women’s Sevens players of the year and breakthrough player of the year.

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