BOK captain Jean de Villiers will be up against four of his team-mates for the prestigious 2013 South African Player of the Year Award after nominations were completed on Thursday.
De Villiers, lock Eben Etzebeth, who was also one of five players nominated for the world player of the year award, hooker Bismarck du Plessis, No 8 Duane Vermeulen and fullback Willie le Roux are the five players nominated in the main category. Etzebeth was the 2012 Young Player of the Year while De Villiers has already won the South Africa Player of the Year award in 2008.
This is a third nomination for Du Plessis following recognition in 2008 and 2011, and Etzebeth’s second successive nomination for the coveted top prize.
Etzebeth is again nominated in the category of Young Player of the Year, where he will face stiff competition from fellow Springboks Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi and Jan Serfontein, as well as the fleet-footed Springbok Sevens and South Africa Under-20 star Cheslin Kolbe.
The award for Coach of the Year is a shoot-out between Heyneke Meyer, Jimmy Stonehouse and Brendan Venter, while the teams they respectively coached this year — the Springboks, the Pumas (Stonehouse also coached the SA President’s XV to victory in the IRB Tbilisi Cup) and the Sharks’ Currie Cup-winning side — are the three nominations for Team of the Year.
“We’ve included various important stakeholders, including the media, public, administrators and the provincial and franchise coaches, in the voting process,” South African Rugby Union (Saru) CE Jurie Roux said. “The coaches play a vital role in the success of a team, so it is pleasing to see them involved in the voting process yet again. I think the nominees in the various categories are a fair reflection of what has been a very good year for South African rugby.
“Looking at the votes we got from the public, it is clear that our fans know their rugby.
“All the categories were hotly contested and I would like to wish the various nominees good luck for the awards,” Roux said.
The awards ceremony will take place in Johannesburg on February 12 next year.
The nominations for 2013 are (in alphabetical order):
Saru Rugby Player of the Year:
1 Jean de Villiers
2 Bismarck du Plessis
3 Eben Etzebeth
4 Willie le Roux
5 Duane Vermeulen
Young Player of the Year:
1 Pieter-Steph du Toit
2 Eben Etzebeth
3 Cheslin Kolbe
4 Siya Kolisi
5 Jan Serfontein
Team of the Year:
1 Pumas (Vodacom Cup, Currie Cup First Division)
2 The Sharks (Currie Cup)
Coach of the Year:
1 Heyneke Meyer (Springboks)
2 Jimmy Stonehouse (Pumas) 3 Brendan Venter (The Sharks Currie Cup)
SA Under-20 Player of the Year:
1 Jacques du Plessis
2 Cheslin Kolbe
3 Seabelo Senatla
SA Sevens Player of the Year:
1 Cornal Hendricks
2 Frankie Horne
3 Seabelo Senatla
Super Rugby Player of the Year:
1 Willie le Roux (Cheetahs)
2 Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs)
3 Duane Vermeulen (Stormers)
Vodacom Cup Player of the Year:
1 Marnitz Boshoff (Golden Lions)
2 Rosco Speckman (Pumas)
3 Fred Zeilinga (The Sharks XV)
Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year:
1 Cheslin Kolbe (Western Province)
2 Scarra Ntubeni (Western Province)
3 Fred Zeilinga (The Sharks)
Absa Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year:
1 Alshaun Bock (SWD Eagles)
2 Tiger Mangweni (EP Kings)
3 Rosco Speckman (Steval Pumas)