Savea and Elder headline list of NZ rugby awards nominees

Loose forward Ardie Savea is up against wing Will Jordan, fullback Jordie Barrett and wing/centre Rieko Ioane for the All Blacks player of the year award.


Black Ferns debutant Liana Mikaele-Tu'u has been nominated for Black Ferns player of the year alongside loose forwards Les Elder (captain) and Kennedy Simon.

Black Ferns Sevens Captain Sarah Hirini has been nominated for two awards. She will contest the Black Ferns Sevens player of the year award alongside Gayle Broughton and Tyla Nathan-Wong.

Hirini is also up for the Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the Year, alongside Māori All Blacks Captain Ash Dixon and All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith.

The Fiao'o Faamausili Medal nominees for domestic women's Farah Palmer Cup (FPC) player of the year are Waikato's Grace Houpapa-Barrett, Northland's Krystal Murray and Wellington Pride player Joanah Ngan-Woo.

Current All Blacks Sevens co-captain Scott Curry has been nominated alongside fellow players Andrew Knewstubb and Ngarohi McGarvey-Black for the Richard Crawshaw Memorial All Blacks Sevens player of the year.

Sky Super Rugby Player of the Year includes a second nomination for Highlander's halfback Aaron Smith, alongside Blues' loose forward Dalton Papalii and Crusaders first five-eighth Richie Mo'unga.

Stand-out performers from the men's NPC in the running for the Duane Monkley Medal are Lincoln McClutchie (Hawkes Bay), Stephen Perofeta (Taranaki) and Luke Romano (Canterbury).

Waikato's NPC Premiership and FPC winning teams are both up for adidas National Team of the Year awards, alongside Super Rugby Aotearoa champions the Crusaders, and Heartland Championship winners South Canterbury.

All teams in black that took the field in 2021 will be in the running for New Zealand Team of the Year, and their respective coaches nominated for New Zealand Coach of the Year.

The National Coach of the Year nominees include Neil Barnes (Taranaki), Ross Filipo (Waikato NPC), James Semple (Waikato FPC) and Crusaders' Head Coach Scott Robertson.

The New Zealand Rugby Referee of the Year nominees are Tiana Ngawati (Bay of Plenty), Ben O'Keeffe (Auckland) and James Doleman (Otago).

The community award for the Charles Munro Rugby Volunteer of the Year sees nominations for Paul Batters (Counties Manukau), Peter Chaplin (Canterbury) and Greg Heller (Otago).

Three awards will be announced on the night - the NZRPA Kirk Award, the Steinlager Salver and the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year.

This year's awards, due to Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings, will be presented in a made-for-TV special on Wednesday December 15.