Maro Itoje, Poppy Cleall & Zoe Aldcroft up for World Rugby awards


Poppy Cleall (left), Maro Itoje (centre) and Zoe Aldcroft
Poppy Cleall (left), Maro Itoje (centre) and Zoe Aldcroft

England’s Maro Itoje has been nominated for men’s player of the year, while compatriots Poppy Cleall and Zoe Aldcroft are up for the women’s award.

England women’s coach Simon Middleton is shortlisted in the coach of the year category in the World Rugby awards.

Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit and England fly-half Marcus Smith are up for breakthrough player of the year.

England’s Abby Dow has been nominated for women’s try of the year for her effort against France in April.

The men’s and women’s player of the year categories, along with the men’s and women’s try of the year, will be decided by a fan vote.

Second row Itoje, 27, won his 50th England cap in Saturday’s win over Australia. Versatile forwards Cleall, 29 and Aldcroft, 24, have helped England’s women’s team stretch their winning streak to 17 Tests.

The awards last took place in 2019 as the 2020 ceremony was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Men’s 15s Player of the Year nominations

Antoine Dupont (France)

Michael Hooper (Australia)

Maro Itoje (England/British and Irish Lions)

Samu Kerevi (Australia)

Women’s 15s Player of the Year nominations

Zoe Aldcroft (England)

Caroline Boujard (France)

Poppy Cleall (England)

Laure Sansus (France)

Breakthrough Player of the Year nominations

Will Jordan (New Zealand)

Andrew Kellaway (Australia)

Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales)

Marcus Smith (England)

Coach of the Year nominations

Allan Bunting/Cory Sweeney (New Zealand women’s sevens)

Ian Foster (New Zealand men)

Simon Middleton (England women)

Dave Rennie (Australia men)

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