Cape Town - Three South Africans, including Springbok Sevens try-scoring ace Seabelo Senatla, were on Tuesday nominated for the prestigious World Rugby Awards for 2016.
Senatla is one of three nominees for World Rugby’s Sevens Player of the Year Award, in association with HSBC 2016. It’s his second successive nomination for this honour, which was won by Blitzbok Werner Kok last year.
World Rugby announced on Tuesday that Senatla, who scored 66 tries in the 2015/16 HSBC Sevens Series, was on the shortlist alongside Virimi Vakatawa (France) and Osea Kolinisau (Fiji).
The three players were selected by an independent awards panel which includes a representative from each of the Sevens teams and the television commentators from the Sevens Series. The flying South African was already named top try-scorer for the season by World Rugby when the 2015/16 series concluded in London.
Senatla, who was last week named the Springbok Sevens Player of the Year, will try to emulate Kok and another one of this Springbok Sevens team mates, Cecil Afrika, who was named the best sevens player on the planet in 2011.
Peyper and Rasivhenge are shortlisted for the World Rugby Referee Award along with Jérôme Garcès of France and Spain's Alhambra Nievas.
The World Rugby Awards dinner will be held at the Hilton Metropole in London, on Sunday 13 November where the winner will be announced.
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux congratulated the trio on their nominations.
“Our referees have always been highly rated in the world and this proves that it is still the case. Well done to Jaco and Rasta,” said Roux.
“And to see Seabelo’s name amongst the nominees for Sevens Player of the Year is good reward for the Blitzboks as well.
“It is always good to be recognized by your peers and confirms that we are doing something right. Our sevens team has consistently deliver good performances despite their hectic schedule, playing in ten cities around the globe in the space of eight months.
“The team is already getting in shape for the 2016/17 series and we are keen to see them in action in December, when they will play in the HSBC Cape Town Sevens tournament. We believe this nomination inspire all of the guys to again deliver a highly competitive effort in the coming season.”
WORLD RUGBY AWARDS SHORTLISTS:
World Rugby Women's Sevens Player of the Year
Charlotte Caslick (Australia)
Emily Scarratt (England)
Portial Woodman (New Zealand)
World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year
Osea Kolinisau (Fiji)
Seabelo Senatla (South Africa)
Virimi Vakatawa (France)
World Rugby Team of the Year
World Rugby Coach of the Year
Steve Hansen (New Zealand)
Eddie Jones (England)
Ben Ryan (Fiji Sevens)
World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year
Maro Itoje (England)
Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand)
Ardie Savea (New Zealand)
Try of the Year
Jamie Heaslip (Ireland, v France)
Kaito Shigeno (Japan, v Scotland)
TJ Perenara (New Zealand, v Argentina)
World Rugby Referee Award
Jérôme Garcès (France)
Alhambra Nievas (Spain)
Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)