World Rugby rolls out two more 'winners'
SPOTLIGHT: World Rugby has revealed the winners of two more categories of their global awards.
Winners for the Breakthrough Player of the Year and Coach of the Year have been awarded to Will Jordan (New Zealand) and Simon Middleton (England).
Breakthrough Player of the Year 2021: Will Jordan (New Zealand)
One of a number of young wingers to announce their arrival on the world stage over the last 12 months, Will Jordan caught the eye not just for his try-scoring exploits for the All Blacks but also his work off the ball, unlocking defences for team-mates with regularity.
A record of 15 tries in 11 tests in 2021, including five against Tonga and a hat-trick against the United States saw him become the second-fastest All Black to reach 15 tries.
Jordan only failed to score in two matches and given his phenomenal strike rate, had he been available for all 15 tests that the All Blacks played in 2021, it’s likely he would have got the two tries he needed to set a new All Blacks record. He is the third All Black to win this award after Nehe Milner-Skudder (2015) and Rieko Ioane (2017).
Nominees: Andrew Kellaway (Australia), Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales), Marcus Smith (England)
Coach of the Year 2021: Simon Middleton (England Women)
Simon Middleton creates history as the first coach of a women’s team to win the prestigious award, having guided the Red Roses through a second successive calendar year unbeaten and 18 tests wins in a row, including back-to-back record wins over world champions New Zealand in November.
Middleton, in his seventh year as England head coach, saw his side score 57 tries and concede only 10 in 2021 as they added another Women’s Six Nations title to their honours roll.
Nominees: Allan Bunting/Cory Sweeney (New Zealand Women’s Sevens), Ian Foster (New Zealand Men), Dave Rennie (Australia Men)