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IRB unveils young player shortlist
ESPN Staff
June 20, 2012
South Africa's Shaun Adendorff on the charge, South Africa U20 v England U20, Cape Town, South Africa, June 12, 2012
Shaun Adendorff has shone for South Africa in the JWC © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Shaun Adendorff | JJ Hanrahan | Jan Serfontein

The International Rugby Board has unveiled their three-man shortlist for the IRB Junior Player of the Year Award 2012.

The winner will be announced after Friday's Junior World Championship final which sees South Africa take on New Zealand. South Africa lead the nominations with duo Shaun Adendorff and Jan Serfontein both nominated. Ireland's JJ Hanrahan completes the trio.

"We have enjoyed some wonderful individual performances at this tournament and some memorable matches. The skill levels, passion and dedication of the future stars of Rugby on show in Cape Town during the past three weeks have been breathtaking," said IRB vice chairman Oregan Hoskins. "I send my warmest congratulations to the three nominees who have contributed to an outstanding event, and wish all the players well for the final round of matches on Friday."

JJ Hanrahan has excelled for Ireland so far in the tournament and is their first ever nomination for this award. Adendorff has shone at blindside for South Africa while Serfontein has been compared by local journalists in South Africa to Brian O'Driscoll.

Previous Winners:
2011 - IRB Junior Player of the Year: George Ford (England)
2010 - IRB Junior Player of the Year: Julian Savea (New Zealand)
2009 - IRB Junior Player of the Year: Aaron Cruden (New Zealand)
2008 - IRB Junior Player of the Year: Luke Braid (New Zealand)
2007 - IRB International U19 Player of the Year: Robert Fruean (New Zealand)
2006 - IRB International U19 Player of the Year: Josh Holmes (Australia)
2006 - IRB International U21 Player of the Year: Lionel Beauxis (France)
2005 - IRB International U19 Player of the Year: Isaia Toeava (New Zealand)
2005 - IRB International U21 Player of the Year: Tatafu Polota-Nau (Australia)
2004 - IRB International U19 Player of the Year: Jeremy Thrush (New Zealand)
2004 - IRB International U21 Player of the Year: Jerome Kaino (New Zealand)
2003 - IRB U19 Player of the Year: Jean Baptiste Payras (France)
2003 - IRB U21 Player of the Year: Ben Atiga (New Zealand)
2002 - IRB U19 Player of the Year: Luke McAlister (New Zealand)
2002 - IRB U21 Player of the Year: Pat Barnard (South Africa)
2001 - IRB Young Player of the Year: Gavin Henson (Wales)

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