All Blacks in line for further honours
November 10, 2011
Could All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw soon be celebrating another honour? © Getty Images
Wyatt Crockett Aaron Cruden Sir Graham Henry Jerome Kaino Richie McCaw Nasi Manu Keven Mealamu Ma'a Nonu Adam Thomson Scott Waldrom
The Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks dominate the nominees for next month's Steinlager Rugby Awards.
The all-conquering team, several stand-out performers and head coach Graham Henry occupy six of the 13 categories in the awards that honour the best of New Zealand rugby. The Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year will be contested by Ma'a Nonu and Jerome Kaino, both finalists in the International Rugby Board's Player of the Year award, and captain Richie McCaw.
The All Blacks will go head-to-head with the Crusaders, who played the entire Super Rugby season on the ord in the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes, Canterbury, the ITM Cup champions, and the HSBC Sevens World Series-winning New Zealand 7s side for the Team of the Year honour.
Henry, who collected the IRB Coach of the Year title last month, facing competition from New Zealand 7s coach Gordon Tietjens and Canterbury boss Rod Penny for the Coach of the Year award. Blues captain and hooker Keven Mealamu, Highlanders loose forward Adam Thomson and Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett, all members of the All Blacks' World Cup squad, will do battle for the Super Rugby Player of the Year.
Manawatu fly-half Aaron Cruden, injured on Worls Cup duty, is up against Canterbury loose forward Nasi Manu and Taranaki openside flanker Scott Waldrom for ITM Cup Player of the Year. All Blacks No.9 and his international team-mates Israel Dagg and Cory Jane will vie for the Maori Player of the Year award.
The 2011 Steinlager Rugby Awards nominees:
Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year
New Zealand Rugby Coach of the Year
Team of the Year
Super Player of the Year
ITM Cup Player of the Year
Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year
NZRU Age Grade Player of the Year
Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year
Referee of the Year Award
NZRU Women's Player of the Year
Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year
Heartland Championship Player of the Year
Steinlager Salver for an Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Rugby
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers