IRB true to form …

So the nominees for the IRB Player of 2011 were announced yesterday, and quite a few Saffers are up in arms re the lack of Springbok representation…

But if one takes a look at the previous winners of the IRB Player of the Year Award, one can see a definite trend …

2010 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2009 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2008 – Shane Williams (Wales)
2007 – Bryan Habana (South Africa)
2006 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
2005 – Dan Carter (New Zealand)
2004 – Schalk Burger (South Africa)
2003 – Jonny Wilkinson (England)
2002 – Fabien Galthié (France)
2001 – Keith Wood (Ireland)

In 2007 South Africa won the World Cup, and Habana was the man of the year, in 2003 it was England, and Wilkinson got the award … it’s pretty damn obvious that the IRB like the player of the year in a World Cup year to come from the winning team …

So true to form, four of this year’s nominees are playing in the RWC final on Sunday, and given the that three of them, Piri Weepu,  Jerome Kaino and Ma’a Nonu, are from New Zealand, it’s pretty obvious who the IRB think are going to take the Cup … But just in case there is an upset, French captain Thierry Dusautoir sneaks onto the list as well …

The other two nominees are Australia’s David Pocock and Will Genia, who play Wales in the bronze medal game on Friday. Pocock is nominated for the second year in a row, and could not really have  been left out, having missed out to Richie McCaw last year.

My money is on the AB’s to take the Cup, and Nonu to take the Award …

The nomination of Weepu borders on the mentally insufficient, especially given the performances of both Wales and to a slightly lesser degree, Ireland, at the RWC. All of Sam Warburton, Mike Phillips, George North, and Jamie Roberts would be ahead of Weepu, and perhaps even Kaino in my book. That said, I would probably have had Israel Dagg and Owen Franks ahead of their countrymen in any case!!

Regarding the lack of Bok representation … A look at the Bok results of 2011 …

IRB Rugby World Cup

Sunday, October 09 2011 – South Africa 9 – 11 Australia
Friday, September 30 2011 – South Africa 13 – 5 Samoa
Thursday, September 22 2011- South Africa 87 – 0 Namibia
Saturday, September 17 2011 – South Africa 49 – 3 Fiji
Sunday, September 11 2011 – South Africa 17 – 16 Wales


Saturday, August 20 2011 – South Africa 18 – 5 New Zealand
Saturday, August 13 2011 – South Africa 9 – 14 Australia
Saturday, July 30 2011 – New Zealand 40 – 7 South Africa
Saturday, July 23 2011 – Australia 39 – 20 South Africa

Giving a record of Played 9, Won 5, Lost 4

SARU are asking us media to put a list forward for the SA Player of the year, and the likes of Schalk Burger, Bismarck du Plessis, and perhaps Pat Lambie, Francois Hougaard or one of the loosehead props come to mind …

But based on the above, I don’t think we can be surprised that there are no Boks on the list of nominees for IRB player of the year. And there is certainly no need for Peter De Villiers to fly over and sit nervously as they announce the team or coach of e year award, that is for sure …