South African rugby supporters can nail their colours to the mast by voting for the best Springbok and Blitzbok players, and a few superb tries scored by the Boks in the last decade, after World Rugby announced on Thursday that fans around the world will have a say in the World Rugby Awards Special Edition by selecting the best players and tries of the decade (2010-19).
Six fans’ choice categories open today, with nominees selected from previous World Rugby Award winners. Voting closes next Sunday, 25 October, while the World Rugby Awards panel will also select a men’s and women’s 15s Team of the Decade in the remaining two categories.
The Final winners will be unveiled during the virtual World Rugby Awards on Monday, 7 December 2020.
<< CAST YOUR WORLD RUGBY AWARDS VOTES HERE >>
The various South Africans up for awards are Pieter-Steph du Toit, Cecil Afrika, Werner Kok, Seabelo Senatla, Bryan Habana and Francois Hougaard.
Du Toit – a three-time SA Rugby Player of the Year – was named World Rugby Player of the Year after the Boks won the Rugby World Cup in Japan last year.
The three Blitzboks, Afrika, Kok and Senatla, have all been crowned World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year in the last decade during a time when the Springbok Sevens team won the World Series twice.
Habana and Hougaard have both walked away with the Try of the Year awards in the last 10 years – the Springbok wing for his sublime effort against New Zealand in Dunedin in 2012, and the nuggety Bok scrumhalf for rounding off a great move from their own 22 against the All Blacks in Johannesburg in 2014.
Fans are likely to have a selection headache in choosing between rugby legends and will be asked to consider criteria such as length of rugby career, performance in key matches, leadership qualities and projecting rugby’s values when they cast their vote for Player of the Decade.
The World Rugby Awards special edition will also shine the spotlight on members of the rugby family who showcased great solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting their communities, getting involved in relief efforts, and showcasing the sport’s character-building values.
The event will be co-hosted by former England international and World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Maggie Alphonsi and rugby presenter Alex Payne on Monday, 7 December. The show will be available for rugby fans globally to watch via World Rugby digital channels.
Nominees for World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Decade in association with Tudor
Richie McCaw (NZL), Thierry Dusautoir (FRA), Dan Carter (NZL), Kieran Read (NZL), Brodie Retallick (NZL), Beauden Barrett (NZL), Johnny Sexton (IRE), Pieter-Steph du Toit (RSA)
Nominees for World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Decade in association with HSBC
Mikaele Pesamino (SAM), Cecil Afrika (RSA), Tomasi Cama (NZL), Tim Mikkelson (NZL), Samisoni Viriviri (FJI), Werner Kok (RSA), Seabelo Senatla (RSA), Perry Baker (USA), Jerry Tuwai (FJI)
Nominees for International Rugby Players Men’s 15s Try of the Decade
Chris Ashton v Australia, 2010 (ENG); Radike Samo v New Zealand, 2011 (AUS); Bryan Habana v New Zealand, 2012 (RSA); Beauden Barrett v France, 2013 (NZL); Francois Hougaard v New Zealand, 2014 (RSA); Julian Savea v France, 2015 (NZL); Jamie Heaslip v Italy, 2016 (IRE); Joaquin Tuculet v England, 2017 (ARG); Brodie Retallick v Australia, 2018 (NZL); TJ Perenara v Namibia, 2019 (NZL)
Nominees for World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Decade in association with Tudor
Carla Hohepa (NZL), Michaela Staniford (ENG), Magali Harvey (CAN), Kendra Cocksedge (NZL), Sarah Hunter (ENG), Jessy Trémoulière (FRA), Emily Scarratt (ENG), Portia Woodman (NZL)
Nominees for World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Decade in association with HSBC
Kayla McAlister (NZL), Emilee Cherry (AUS), Portia Woodman (NZL), Charlotte Caslick (AUS), Michaela Bylde (NZL), Ruby Tui (NZL)
Nominees for International Rugby Players Women’s 15s Try of the Decade
Alison Miller v New Zealand, 2014 (IRE), Magali Harvey v France, 2014 (CAN), Megan York v France, 2016 (WAL), Danielle Waterman v Canada, 2016 (ENG), Portia Woodman v USA, 2017 (NZL)
The two remaining two categories, Men’s and Women’s 15s Teams of the Decade, will be selected by the World Rugby Awards panel, a stellar team of rugby legends who choose the annual World Rugby Awards player, team and coach winners.
Men’s 15s Team of the Decade panel: Maggie Alphonsi (ENG), Fiona Coghlan (IRE), Thierry Dusautoir (FRA), George Gregan (AUS), Richie McCaw (NZL), Brian O’Driscoll (IRE), Melodie Robinson (NZL), John Smit (RSA) and Clive Woodward (ENG)
Women’s 15s Team of the Decade panel: Maggie Alphonsi (ENG), Liza Burgess (WAL), Lynne Cantwell (IRE), Fiona Coghlan (IRE), Stephen Jones (ENG), Gaëlle Mignot (FRA), Jillion Potter (USA), Melodie Robinson (NZL), Karl TeNana (NZL) and Danielle Waterman (ENG).
Issued by SA Rugby Communications and World Rugby
In some areas of the world, the top sporting leagues proudly display the overwhelming salaries of the players within each league. In America, finding salary information for NBA and NFL players is simple. In fact, some fans might even be able to guess the salary based on the player’s position and team. The same cannot be said for equally as popular sports in other areas of the world.
Rugby, for example, is one of the largest sports played in different places around the world. Rugby has risen in popularity in the United Kingdom and other countries ever since the first reported rugby match in Scotland in the late 1800s. Now, the sport has its own professional league with very well-known and well-payed players in each area of the country.
Although rugby has become one of the most widely adored sports around the world, finding information about the top paid Rugby players in 2020 is not as simple as it is for other sports. For this reason, we have compiled this list about the top paid rugby players in the world.
8 - Stuart Hogg
Stuart Hogg is a Rugby player from Scotland. He reportedly makes R11 496 535 each year. As a captain for the Exeter Chiefs, he definitely earns his keep for this quite impressive salary. He has been the highest paid Rugby player for quite some time, since he played with Glasgow Warriors. His playing time is impressive and we know he will do great things in the future.
7 - Michael Hooper
Michael Hooper plays for the Wallabies and is quite the impressive captain for the team. Although he could very likely earn more money if he chose to play for another team in another area, Michael Hooper chose to sign a huge 5-year contract to stay with his Australian team. He makes R11 956 396 a year.
6 - Morgan Parra & Nicolas Sanchez
Morgan Parra, halfback for the French team in Clermont, earns an impressive yearly salary. He makes R12 123 618 a year for his work on the team. Although Parra was once an impressive young and international player, he seems to have come to a halt in the international playing field. His career is not over yet, despite his age of 31. Morgan Parra recently signed an extension of his contract with Clermont.
Nicolas Sanchez is an Argentina player who left his hometown to play for France. He is currently on the team for Stade Francais. He makes R12 123 618, which you may have noticed actually makes him a tie with Morgan Parra.
5 - Dan Biggar
Dan Biggar is a flyhalf who plays for the Northamptom Saints in Wales. He is one of the most famous players on this team. Appropriately, he is paid R12 541 674 each year. He is a star as a pivot for this interesting team in Wales.
4 - Steven Luatua
Steven Luatua knows how to play the game, and we mean that both figuratively and literally. Originally playing for New Zealand, Luatua used his talent to gain the attention of the English team the Bristol Bears. Agreeing to join their team for a grand sum of R13 586 814, he took his talents where the money was.
3 - Owen Farrell
Owen Farrell is one of the most highly well-paid Rugby players of all time. His yearly salary is R15 677 092. He plays in England for the Saracens and plans to stay with the same team. Although his salary is capped, he is still one of the highest earning players, although not the only high earner on the England Saracens.
2 - Maro Itoje
Another highly paid athlete coming from the England Saracens at R18 185 427. Reportedly, he will be taking a paycut to play for the Saracens next year as well.
1 - Charles Piutau & Handre Pollard
Tied for first place are Charles Piuta and Handre Pollard, who bring in about R20 902 790 per year each.
Handre Pollard is thus one of the most richest athletes in South Africa. He plays for the Montipellier team.
Charles Piutau plays for the Bristol bears, but is originally from New Zealand. He was actually British rugby’s first player to earn a million pounds.
Rugby is not quite as popular as either the worldly or the American version of football. However, it is a widely loved and embraced sport. Since rugby is one of the reasons that American football exists to begin with, the world should embrace this entertaining sport as one of the many reasons we love sports in general. Rugby players are tough and work hard.
World Rugby announced on Tuesday that South Africa will host yet another major international tournament with the inaugural event on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series for women heading to Stellenbosch next month.
Twelve teams from all six of World Rugby’s regions will be competing for a coveted place as a core team on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for the 2021 season at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on 28-29 March 2020.
Apart from the Springbok Women’s Sevens team, the other nations in action are Argentina, Belgium, China, Colombia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Poland and Scotland.
Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, thanked World Rugby for entrusting SA Rugby with the opportunity to host another major international tournament in South Africa.
“We hosted the very successful Africa Women’s RWC Qualifiers Tournament last year, as well as well as the Africa Olympic Qualifiers for sevens,” Roux said.
“It’s a great feather in our cap to once again be selected to host a rugby major tournament. We are very proud that both World Rugby and Rugby Africa are consistently using SA Rugby to host tournaments and are delighted to be part of the growth of the women’s game in the world.”
Mr Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting the inaugural HSBC Sevens Challenger Series event for women and grateful to World Rugby for the opportunity.
“This tournament will provide our enthusiastic supporters with yet another opportunity to see top female sevens athletes in action, something we experienced for the first-time last year at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens.”
South Africa was selected as host following the ground-breaking women’s World Rugby High Performance Academy which took place at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport in May 2019 and the recent success of having the Springbok Women’s Sevens team play as an invitational team at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens in December.
The Sevens Challenger Series is a new competition designed to boost rugby sevens’ development across the globe. Today’s announcement is just the beginning for women’s participation on the Sevens Challenger Series, which will evolve to feature more rounds across the globe as it grows and develops in future years.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The launch of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series for both women and men is an important milestone moment for the development of rugby sevens around the globe.
“Sevens has seen dynamic growth in interest and fan engagement since making it’s hugely successful Olympic debut at Rio 2016, and it is right to launch the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in a pivotal year for rugby sevens ahead of the spotlight shone by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“The new Sevens Challenger Series will help to develop the next generation of players and bring international sevens events to new nations, further growing its popularity around the world and underscoring our commitment to be a sport for all.”
The tournament format will see the 12 teams drawn into three pools of four teams that will compete towards a grand final where the winner gains core team status on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021, replacing the bottom placed core team at the end of this season and providing a clear and consistent pathway for teams to progress and play against the world’s best.
Issued by SA Rugby Communications