World Rugby has announced the shortlists for the prestigious Men's and Women's 15s Player of the Year awards for 2017, which will be presented at the World Rugby Awards at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo on 26 November.
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England duo Owen Farrell and Marro Itoje have been shortlisted for the second year in a row following outstanding displays for their country, the British and Irish Lions and Saracens.
The nominees for World Rugby Women's Player of the Year are Kelly Brazier (New Zealand), Romane Menager (France), Safi N'Diaye (France), Lydia Thompson (England), and Portia Woodman (New Zealand).
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There will be a trophy presentation plus team recognition to highlight the 2017 USL Cup campaign, officials said. The championship is the first for the team, which has played for three years.
The new selection process will see fans, worldwide captains, coaches and media have their say before the panel considers the victor of the prestigious award. "I'd like to thank the panel for their expert consideration and look forward to the winners being announced at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco".
28-year-old Folau's nomination comes on the back of a sensational 2017.
The dual-code worldwide took out his third John Eales Medal (most ever) for Australian player of the year in 2017, and also broke fellow rugby league convert Lote Tuqiri's record for most Test tries in a calendar year by an Australian. In June he became the first Wallaby to score doubles in three consecutive Tests and finished joint top try scorer in the Rugby Championship.
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