Marx and Dyantyi headline SA Rugby awards nominees

South Africa's winger Aphiwe Dyantyi reacts after scoring a try during the Rugby Championship match between South Africa and Australia at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on September 29, 2018.
South Africa's winger Aphiwe Dyantyi reacts after scoring a try during the Rugby Championship match between South Africa and Australia at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on September 29, 2018.
Image: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP

Current SA Player of the Year Malcolm Marx and 2016 SA Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit are two of five nominees for this year’s SA Rugby Player of the Year award.

Marx was on the shortlist for World Rugby Player of the Year this season‚ before losing out to Ireland flyhalf Jonny Sexton.

Du Toit has been a stellar performer for the Boks all year‚ and was also impressive during Super Rugby.

The other three nominees are headed by Lions wing Aphiwe Dyantyi‚ who recently won the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year award.

The Lions and now Gloucester lock Franco Mostert‚ and Bulls flyhalf Handré Pollard‚ complete the nominations.

Dyantyi‚ Mostert and Marx are also nominated in the 2018 Super Rugby Player of the Year category.

The Young Player of the Year category sees Springbok lock RG Snyman against four backs in Aphelele Fassi‚ Sbu Nkosi‚ Embrose Papier and Damian Willemse.

Two teams and their coaches were nominated in the categories for Team and Coach of the Year –Blitzbok mentor Neil Powell of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions‚ and Swys de Bruin of the Lions‚ who finished as runners-up in Vodacom Super Rugby.

They are joined by SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus (Coach of the Year nomination) and Currie Cup Premier Division champions‚ The Sharks (Team of the Year nomination).

“These are exciting times for South African rugby and the number of new players who made their mark for the Springboks is encouraging for the future‚” said Mark Alexander‚ President of SA Rugby.

“I would like to congratulate all the nominees for their outstanding performances over the last year and wish them well for 2019‚ which is a massive year for us.

“The Springboks have shown a great resurgence under Rassie Erasmus and his coaching team and the fact that the media nominated him as one of the three Coaches of the Year is testimony to this.

"We believe we are heading in the right direction in our preparation for the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

“We’re also very proud of the Blitzboks and their coach‚ Neil Powell‚ who recently started their defence of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series trophy‚ which has stood proudly in South Africa for the last two years.

"Their nominations are just reward for consistently performing at a world-class standard.”

The nominations for the Junior Springbok Player of the Year award were very close‚ with four players making the short-list – Tyrone Green‚ Salmaan Moerat‚ Wandisile Simelane and Damian Willemse.

And the three Blitzboks who are nominated for the Springbok Sevens Player of the Year award are Werner Kok‚ Dylan Sage – who was included in the World Rugby Sevens Dream Team – and Ruhan Nel.

The nominees are (in alphabetical order):

SA Rugby Player of the Year:

Pieter-Steph du Toit, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Malcolm Marx, Franco Mostert, Handré Pollard

SA Rugby Young Player of the Year:

Aphelele Fassi, Sbu Nkosi, Embrose Papier, RG Snyman, Damian Willemse

Team of the Year:

Lions (Super Rugby runners-up), Sharks (Currie Cup Premier Division winners)

Springbok Sevens (World Rugby Sevens Series winners) Coach of the Year:

Swys de Bruin (Lions), Rassie Erasmus (Springboks), Neil Powell (Springbok Sevens)

Springbok Sevens Player of the Year:

Werner Kok, Ruhan Nel, Dylan Sage

Junior Springbok Player of the Year:

Tyrone Green, Salmaan Moerat, Wandisile Simelane, Damian Willemse

Super Rugby Player of the Tournament:

Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Franco Mostert (Lions)

Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year:

SP Marais (Western Province), Sergeal Petersen (Western Province), Akker van der Merwe (Sharks)

Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year:

Divan Nel (SWD Eagles), Anrich Richter (Valke), Etienne Taljaard (Valke)

SuperSport Rugby Challenge Player of the Year:

Enver Brandt (Griquas), Ruwellyn Isbell (Pumas), Chris Smith (Pumas), Stefan Ungerer (Pumas)

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