McCaw up for 4th IRB award

2012-11-28 19:44

Dublin - New Zealand captain Richie McCaw is in contention to win the IRB Player of the Year award for a fourth time after being included in a four-man shortlist for the 2012 prize.

All Black flyhalf Dan Carter also made the cut on Wednesday with two surprising entries - back-up England No 10 Owen Farrell and another flyhalf, the rejuvenated Frederic Michalak of France.

McCaw is the only player to have received the accolade more than once in its 11-year history, having won in 2006, 2009 and 2010. Carter won it in 2005.

McCaw is the most capped All Black in history with 115 Tests and 19 tries and this year he became the first player to win 100 Tests and most as captain.

He will take a six month sabbatical from the game in 2013.

His All Black team-mate Carter injured a groin in 2011 that ruled him out of most of New Zealand's triumphant Rugby World Cup campaign, but he has bounced back in style to become the leading point-scorer in Test rugby in 2012.

IRB chairperson Bernard Lapasset said that it had been a difficult choice to select only four candidates.

"As ever, the competition has been fierce and the panel had a tough time deliberating the shortlist from a number of stand-out candidates," Lapasse said. "All four players on the shortlist thoroughly deserve their place after standout performances during the year and consistency in the tough environment that is Test rugby."

The winner will be announced on December 3, along with IRB Coach of the Year and IRB Team of the Year.

For the third year in a row the shortlist includes a player to have graduated from the IRB Junior World Championship to the Test arena with Farrell following in the footsteps of Australian trio David Pocock, Will Genia and Kurtley Beale.

Farrell made his England debut as flyhalf in the opening Six Nations match against Scotland at Murrayfield and played in the Test series loss in South Africa.

He turned 21 in September and is vying for the No 10 shirt with Toby Flood. Farrell is the son of former England dual code international Andy Farrell, who is now an assistant coach of the national team.

Michalak was recalled to the France national team after an absence of more than two years by coach Philippe Saint-Andre for the June tour to Argentina.

Michalak has been the architect of Les Bleus' run of four consecutive victories over Argentina (twice), Australia and Samoa which have secured them a top-four seeding spot in the IRB world rankings for the 2015 World Cup. That means they will avoid the top three southern hemisphere teams in the pool stage.

The rejuvenated flyhalf has returned from another spell in Super Rugby with the Sharks to reignite an international career that looked to have stalled with just four appearances since the 2007 World Cup.

The IRB Player of the Year nominees were selected by the IRB Awards independent panel of judges, which is chaired by former Australia captain John Eales - who won the 1991 and 1999 World Cups - and is made up of former internationals with more than 500 caps between them.

The panel comprises Will Greenwood, Gavin Hastings, Raphael Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Agustin Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana Umaga and Paul Wallace.

France flank Thierry Dusautoir captured the 2011 award.

Previous IRB Player of the Year winners:

2011 – Thierry Dusautoir (France)
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 Galthie (France)
2001 – Keith Wood (Ireland)

HAVE YOUR SAY: Are these really the four best players from the past year? If so, who deserves the IRB Player of the Year title most: Carter, McCaw, Michalak or Farrell? Send your thoughts to Sport24.


  • byron.goldberg.9 - 2012-11-28 19:50

    what??? the irb is retarded

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-11-28 20:06

      The first of the bitter brigade!

      donavan.boshoff - 2012-11-28 20:18

      @byron, as easy as it is to dislike him you have to admire his skill at getting the refs into bed with him, I wonder if they will penalize him or the nzru for that matter, for not having enough balls to apologize to davies?

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-11-28 20:41

      When saffa's start apologising! Stop being such a hypocrite!

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-11-28 20:51

      Seriously? Penalise McCaw for not apologising to Davies? Firstly you have no idea what has been said or done between the AB's and Davies and secondly why would it be McCaws fault? You're losing the plot bro! (By the way there has been plenty of communication between Davies and Hore after the fact) How many times have players escaped sanction after targeting McCaw, get a grip!

      sean.bagley.50 - 2012-11-28 23:06

      Like for the IRB Player of the Year award to go to Frédéric Michalak.Great performances from the Frenchman all year round.Bryan Habana just missed out being nominated aswell.He too had a great season in my humble opinion.Better luck next time Habana.The All Blacks should win the team of the year award again this year if nothing else,cause having gone 20 games unbeaten thus far,they had been the benchmark in world rugby by a country mile,except of course for the Andrew Hore incident that kinda tarnaged their image a little.

      Flemstone - 2012-11-29 00:12

      Interesting selections, I'd like to know the criteria that's being used. The three flyhalves have distinctly different styles of playing. I think guys like Mike Harris and Michael Hooper deserve mentions. I think its becoming a bit too easy to play for NZ. Just about everyone in the team is world class. So its that much easier to shine.

      nzbro.allblack - 2012-11-29 08:55

      @byron.goldberg.9 you obviously dont realise that the IRB are made up of amongst other nationalities, south africans as well who have nominated McCaw. A player with a skill pedigree second to none no other player in the history of the game can be compared to hence his 4th Nomination ! QUOTE" McCaw is the only player to have received the accolade more than once in its 11-year history, having won in 2006, '09 and '10. Carter won it in 2005. McCaw is the most capped All Black in history with 115 Tests and 19 tries and this year he became the first player to win 100 Tests and most as captain." UNQUOTE You cannot name another player in your own country to match THAT track record of McCaw . If McCaw was a springbok, your bok backline would be running for the try line at every match instead of walking behind the bok forwards & hoping & waiting for 80 minutes for the ball to get to them. So what we get is fans like you who hate him simply because he repeatedly produces match winning ball for his backline to demolish the opposition defences and scores.If McCaw was a bok, you would be singing a different tune matey. Some players have moments of brilliance in a season but McCaw has proven he is consistent therefore special and I bet every No 7 / No 6 in the world would love to have McCaw's skill & reputation on the field. So calling the IRB "retarded is an insult to your own countrymen and some of the greatest players & men associated with rugby.

      donavan.boshoff - 2012-11-29 09:30

      @jennynz calm down sweetheart bro, read the reports in the nz newspapers that is how we know no apology has been officially given, also in the same paper it goes on to say how the rest of the world(SA included) are the first to apologize after any on-field altercation, except for the all blacks they think they are above it. That sort of arrogance is not needed in sport, so kick and scream all you want (just like the team you support). The rest of the world knows...

  • Jimmy NZ - 2012-11-28 20:05

    The 2 Greatest Rugby Players to grace the game! Long live the McCaw and Carter show!

      Caleb - 2012-11-28 21:47

      Second that

      Flemstone - 2012-11-29 00:05

      No contest.

  • gordon.turner.37 - 2012-11-28 20:19

    All Black player for sure, but 8 not 7. Reid has been the standout and hasn't missed a game.

  • claude.felbert - 2012-11-28 20:48

    Anyone who can get away for so long with what he does deserves it.

  • phumlani.loliwe - 2012-11-28 20:51

    This is a big fuss...there's no way McCaw was the best player this year, unless of coz he's the default winner whenever that committee disagrees!

      Caleb - 2012-11-28 21:40

      Let me guess, you probably think a South African was the best player in the world this year?

  • - 2012-11-28 22:48

    Frenchie should bag this one I hope!

  • chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-11-29 05:24

    Heineken claimed that 2012 was such a success. So I would imagine he would expect to be nominated as IRB Coach of the year?

  • roger.plaatjies.79 - 2012-11-29 10:15

    Ja right, McCow and Carter was injured most of the time and they gonna get the awards, the IRB is a international joke. Our young player of the year was visable the whole year, just ask the Australian Nathan Sharp, Eben is a in your face player. The IRB is a Circus.

  • evan.john.311 - 2012-11-29 16:16

    Selecting the World Player of the Year (in my opinion) should not be selected because of his reputation in the international community in any sport code.It should purely be selected on his performances throughout the whole season which is a no brainer.McCaw is a nominee for this coveted award again this year.He we hasn't won it yet but I think it would be a very controversial. Personally I don't think he deserves to be even a nominee.He was consistent YES but he wasn't the best.A guy like Keiran Read can really feel upset as well as Francois Louw. I think the IRB should learn from FIFA when they select the best player of the year.They make use of several respected football journalists from all over the world who sit down and select the best of the best. I dunno the criteria the IRB uses but it seems like they only make use of a panel of former greats which I think is flawed.The IRB shoudn't make the same mistake in 2009 when McCaw won it even though he missed half the Super Rugby season, was outplayed by Brussouw and Smith at Super Rugby and at Test level.When McCaw was even more surprised then the rest when he received the award.Other nominees that year Fourie du Preez, Jacques Fourie,O' Driscoll and Heaslip probably also couldn't believe it.Just a thought for all.

  • glen.keesing - 2012-11-30 10:39

    Richie has won it more than any other country collectively. Should be no.4 this year. Only DC could take it of him, surely.

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