Cape Town - Five Springboks have been nominated for the prestigious SA Rugby Player of the Year Award for 2014 with one of Nizaam Carr, Marcell Coetzee, Willie le Roux, Handré Pollard or Duane Vermeulen in line to claim the coveted annual award for the first time in their careers.
The five players, who all played for the Boks this year, have been nominated by the South African rugby media following a stellar year on the field. Springbok rugby fans across the globe will now be given a voice in the selection of the winner, SARU have announced on Friday.
The public will also be asked to cast their votes in two other categories, Young Player and the Team of the Year.
Carr and Pollard have also been named in the Young Player category, along with Cheslin Kolbe, Seabelo Senatla and Jan Serfontein.
The Junior Springboks, Springboks, Springbok Sevens, Western Province and Golden Lions have been nominated as Team of the Year.
Public polling for the three awards will open on Friday 5 December 2014 with all the winners to be announced at a gala event on 8 February 2015 in Midrand.
The public can vote for the top awards on SARU’s website or by using (for example) #YPOTYNizaamCarr on Twitter*, which is powered by social marketing platform Spredfast. Voting will also take place through SARU’s official digital Springbok Magazine, where subscribers can cast their votes.
"It is again very pleasing that we are able to give our rugby fans a voice in the game, and the SARU Player of the Year Awards is an ideal platform to do so," said SARU CEO Jurie Roux.
"The last two years proved that supporters have strong opinions on who should win and that feedback was great, hence the decision to make the public part of the polling process again.
"The Awards are a highlight on the South African rugby calendar, and involving the fans more directly will no doubt add to the prestige of the event," said Roux.
Media, coaches and players had a major say in determining the outstanding players of the season in a range of categories and competitions.
Other awards on the night include for the outstanding players in Super Rugby, Currie Cup Premier and First Division and Vodacom Cup competitions, as well as for the Coach of the Year, SA Under-20 Player of the Year, Springbok Sevens Player of the Year, Women’s Achiever of the Year, SARPA Players’ Player of the Year, Supersport Try of the Year, Marriott Referee Award, Cell C Community Cup Player of the Tournament and Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Tournament.
The closing date for public voting is Friday, 12 December 2014 at 14:00.