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Page last updated at 12:23 GMT, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 13:23 UK

Wales duo nominated for IRB award

Shane Williams
Shane Williams is one of those shortlisted for player of the year

Wales and Ospreys duo Shane Williams and Ryan Jones are on a five-man shortlist for the International Rugby Board player of the year award.

Also nominated are Scotland scrum-half Mike Blair, New Zealand fly-half and 2005 player of the year Dan Carter, plus Italy captain Sergio Parisse.

The winner will be announced at the IRB awards in London on 23 November.

"The IRB player of the year award is the ultimate accolade for a player," said chairman Bernard Lapasset.

"And it takes into account performances in all the major internationals played during the year including the RBS Six Nations, Tri-Nations and the June-July Tests."

Among the past winners of the award are Jonny Wilkinson, Schalk Burger, Richie McCaw, Fabien Galthiť, Carter, Bryan Habana and Keith Wood.


Carter would be the first player to win the award twice.

There has not been a northern hemisphere recipient since England fly-half Wilkinson won it in 2003.

This year's nominees were selected by an independent panel of judges, comprising former internationals with more than 500 Test caps between them.

The panel, which also votes on the IRB team and coach of the year during the same period, has deliberated over every major Test this year.

The nomination panel consisted of Tana Umaga, RaphaŽl Ibanez, Will Greenwood, Francois Pienaar, Agustin Pichot, Gavin Hastings, Scott Quinnell, Paul Wallace and convenor John Eales.

The panel watched more than 47 hours of action from 35 matches, awarding points to the three players they thought stood out in each match.

"Now that the shortlist has been selected the panel will reconvene during the November Tests when the IRB Player of the Year will be selected," confirmed Lapasset.

see also
Williams eyes second Lions chance
21 Aug 08 |  Rugby Union
Habana hails 'super' Shane
14 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union
Blair is Scots' player of season
16 May 08 |  Scottish

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