By Lucky Vince Pienaar
It must have been a very tough call, but five Springboks have been nominated for SA Rugby Player of the Year.
While it is easy to see why Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Frans Malherbe and Damian Willemse were nominated, you can easily think of a number of players who could have been in the running.
Might Handré Pollard have been nominated for his display of perfect kicking under enormous pressure in the World Cup final?
What about Kwagga Smith for his snatching of the ball in the mauls or Ox Nche for his awesome scrumming?
Cheslin Kolbe could have been there for a number of reasons, such as his brilliant defence and the most important charge-down of a conversion kick in probably the history of the World Cup.
But those are all neither here nor there. Rugby is possibly the ultimate team sport and the South African squad is the perfect example of that. All five are worthy nominees but the fact is they played together as such a tight unit that any of the World Cup players could have been nominated. As so many of the team members have said during the year: “We play for each other and we play for our country.”
The Coach of the Year nomination is interesting. It’s a close call between John Dobson of the Stormers and Jacques Nienaber of the Springboks.
Some of the nominees in the different categories are:
SA Rugby Men’s Player of the Year
Pieter-Steph du Toit
SA Rugby Young Player of the Year
Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (Stormers)
Jaden Hendrikse (Springboks/ Sharks)
Canan Moodie (Springboks/ Bulls)
Evan Roos (Springboks/Stormers)
Ruan Venter (Lions)
Coach of the Year
John Dobson (Stormers)
Hawies Fourie (Cheetahs)
Jacques Nienaber (Springboks)
Pictured above: Pieter-Steph du Toit.
Image source: X