Savea and Etzebeth shunned by World Rugby in Awards Nominations

For the second year in  succession, World Rugby has unveiled a World Rugby Player of the Year nominee list that screams oversight and indifference, Springboks lock and the talented All Black Ardi Savea, Again, the victims of this horrific selection procedure.

The candidates for the Player of the Year award for World Rugby in 2021 were Antoine Dupont, Maro Itoje, Samu Kerevi, and Michael Hooper. Etzebeth was not even given a chance to be considered in a year in which he earned his 100th Test cap and outperformed Maro Itoje in the British & Irish Lions three-match series. Neither was Lukhanyo Am, who by the end of 2021 was regarded as the best outside center in the world, the Springbok captain Siya Kolisi, who guided the Boks to the series triumph. Am played 11 of the 12 available Tests in 2021, contributing significantly to the Springboks' victory over the British & Irish Lions, while Australian outside center and nominee Samu Kerevi played only five.

There can be no doubts about French captain Dupont's claim to the prize; he was a deserving winner following a stellar year. Given the backdrop of their individual seasons and the Springboks year as a whole, it was a farce that none of the three South Africans named made the list of nominees.

In 2022, not much appears to have changed, and the omission of Etzebeth and Savea confirms the impression that World Rugby either has an agenda or has no understanding at all. Am, Dupont, and Irish candidates Josh van der Flier and Johnny Sexton are on the 2022 nomination list.

In an All Black team that struggled under Ian Foster and had some of the worst performances in New Zealand rugby history, Ardie Savea was consistently the greatest player. After a disastrous start to the year, the All Blacks rallied under Savea's leadership to win the Rugby Championship at the end of the year.

Savea was the only All Black who participated in their loss to the Boks, and a week later he was outstanding in leading the charge when the All Blacks defeated South Africa to avenge their loss. In Wales, where New Zealand thrashed the Welsh 55–23, he was monstrous once more. Rugby involves much more than just tackling, but Savea's statistic for 2022 is a 99% tackle completion percentage, which is outstanding compared to Etzebeth's 90% tackle success rate. Although it may not be the only metric for measuring success, tackling is unquestionably an important one for measuring consistency and output.


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