New twist for World Rugby awards
NEWS: After taking a year off in 2020, the annual World Rugby awards will again take place following the conclusion of the current season – but there’s a new twist.
Last year, with a severely differing number of test matches played per nation due to the global pandemic, World Rugby decided to forego the usual annual awards in favour of announcing eight special categories celebrating the previous decade of international rugby.
In 2021, the normal awards will be reintroduced along with a few new additions, but instead of an independent panel deciding the bulk of the award-winners, half will be confirmed through public voting.
World Rugby’s official statement read: “After a special edition in 2020 due to the pandemic, the prestigious World Rugby Awards return in 2021 to celebrate on-field achievements of the calendar year and recognise the teams and individuals who have inspired players and fans around the world.
“Placed at the end of the November international window, the biggest accolades in rugby union will be virtually handed to their recipients from December 6-10. The 12 categories will be unveiled on World Rugby social media channels including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube,”
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World Rugby also stated that six of these categories will be decided by an online public vote. From November 15-21, rugby fans will be able to select their deserving winner for World Rugby Men’s and Women’s, 15s and Sevens Player of the Year as well as Men’s and Women’s Try of the Year on the Awards’ voting website and join the conversation using #WorldRugbyAwards.
The remaining six categories will be voted by the World Rugby Awards panel, a stellar team of rugby legends who will have the hard task of selecting winners for the World Rugby Breakthrough, Coach and Referee awards as well as the newly created Men’s and Women’s 15s Dream Teams of 2021.
World Rugby Awards 2021
*Award (voted by) – date
World Rugby Referee Award (panel) – December 6
International Rugby Players Men’s Try of the Year (fan) – December 6
International Rugby Players Women’s Try of the Year (fan) – December 6
World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year (panel) – December 7
World Rugby Coach of the Year (panel) – December 7
World Rugby Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service – December 7
World Rugby Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Year (panel) – December 8
World Rugby Women’s 15s Dream Team of the Year (panel) – December 8
World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year (fan) – December 9
World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year (fan) – December 9
World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year (fan) – December 10
World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year (fan) – December 10