Springbok stars dominate nominations for SA Rugby Awards
Springbok stars Siya Kolisi, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Eben Etzebeth, and Makazole Mapimpi will be up against each other for the coveted SA Rugby Player of the Year award for 2021.
The winners will be announced in 2022 with two new awards recognising women’s rugby in the form of the Springbok Women’s and Provincial Women’s Players of the Year, and the annual Referee of the Year.
Captain Kolisi, the only player to start in all 13 Tests this year, played a typical captain’s innings while Etzebeth, the most experienced member of the current Springbok squad, was one of the most consistent players.
Am and De Allende, who have started together as Bok centre partners in 22 Tests, formed a lethal midfield combination, often opening up space on the outside for Mapimpi to score six tries this year.
After a good year in which they won the Lions Series, beat the All Blacks and won two of their three Tests in November, the Springboks and coach Jacques Nienaber are also up for awards and will square off against the Blitzboks and Neil Powell, and the Currie Cup-winning Bulls and Jake White for the team and coach of the year awards.
The Hendrikse brothers, Jaden and Jordan, are two of the five nominees in the category for Young Player of the Year and face stiff opposition from Aphelele Fassi.
Two of the best young loose forwards in the country are Elrigh Louw and Evan Roos.
Jaden Hendrikse (scrumhalf) and Fassi (fullback) earned their first Springbok caps this year (both scoring tries on debut), while Jordan Hendrikse was nominated in a second category, the Junior Springbok Player of the Year, along with Jan-Hendrik Wessels and Henco van Wyk.
The Blitzboks, winners of four tournaments in 2021, finished the year on a high note. The competition for Springbok Sevens Player of the Year will be tightly contested between one of their bright new stars in Ronald Brown and the experienced duo of Selvyn Davids and Siviwe Soyizwapi, captain of the national Sevens side.
Capping off a fine season, Louw (Bulls) and Roos (WP) also feature in two categories and will be up against each other for the Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year, against Bulls flyhalf Johan Goosen.
In the final category, Dylan Maart (Boland Kavaliers), Anrich Richter (Valke) and Danrich Visagie (Leopards) are up against each other for the Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year.
A new category added was the Test Try of the Year, where supporters will have the final say in who walks away with this accolade.
Included on the list of nominees are tries by De Allende, Mapimpi, Fassi, and Cheslin Kolbe, and Springbok Women’s players Zintle Mpupha and Libbie Janse van Rensburg.
“It was a very challenging season for all involved, but with typical South African tenacity we got through the year and I would like to congratulate all the nominees on their achievements,” said SA Rugby president Mark Alexander.
“After not playing a single Test in 2020, the Springboks showed huge heart, courage and determination, not only for winning the series against a very strong British & Irish Lions in difficult conditions, but then having to travel abroad for seven consecutive Tests against the best sides in the world.
“To finish the season as the top-ranked team in the world deserves praise and we are all very proud of them, while our Springbok Sevens and Junior Bok teams both had stellar seasons. Congratulations to all the players, coaches and team management for their invaluable hard work.”
An award for the Player of the United Rugby Championship (URC) will be made at the conclusion of that competition next year.
SA Rugby awards nominations —
SA Rugby Player of the Year: Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Makazole Mapimpi
SA Rugby Young Player of the Year: Aphelele Fassi (Springboks / Sharks), Jaden Hendrikse (Springboks / Sharks), Jordan Hendrikse (Junior Springboks / Lions), Elrigh Louw (Bulls), Evan Roos (Stormers / Western Province)
Team of the Year: Bulls, Springboks, Springbok Sevens
Coach of the Year: Jacques Nienaber (Springboks), Neil Powell (Springbok Sevens), Jake White (Bulls)
Junior Springbok Player of the Year: Jordan Hendrikse, Henco van Wyk, Jan-Hendrik Wessels
Springbok Sevens Player of the Year: Ronald Brown, Selvyn Davids, Siviwe Soyizwapi
Carling Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year: Johan Goosen (Bulls), Elrigh Louw (Bulls), Evan Roos (Western Province)
Carling Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year: Dylan Maart (Boland Kavaliers), Anrich Richter (Valke), Danrich Visagie (Leopards)
Castle Lager Test Try of the Year (chronological order, highlighted text links to videos)
- Cobus Reinach — Springboks vs Georgia
- Makazole Mapimpi — Springboks vs British & Irish Lions
- Cheslin Kolbe — Springboks vs British & Irish Lions
- Sizophila Solontsi — Springbok Women vs Kenya
- Aphelele Fassi — Springboks vs Argentina
- Damian de Allende — Springboks vs New Zealand
- Malcolm Marx — Springboks vs Wales
- Makazole Mapimpi — Springboks vs Scotland
- Zintle Mpupha — Springbok Women v Wales
- Libbie Janse van Rensburg — Springbok Women v Wales