The contenders for the International Rugby Players (IRP) Try of the Year 2019 have been revealed, with the winner to be announced at the World Rugby Awards in Tokyo on Sunday.
Three of the tries shortlisted were scored at the World Cup, with the other contender scored by Italy captain Sergio Parisse in their test against Russia in August.
The four tries were selected by a panel of former players, including former Try of the Year winners Jamie Heaslip and Bryan Habana, plus Fiao’o Faamausili and Thierry Dusautoir, who will select the winner of the 2019 award.
The contenders are:
Wales were left reeling following an expression of French flair in their Rugby World Cup 2019 quarter-final against Les Bleus. Following a barnstorming break from Virimi Vakatawa, the centre offloaded to Romain Ntamack who in turn popped a pass to his half-back partner Antoine Dupont. The scrum-half drew a tackle from Liam Williams and haring up on his right shoulder was flanker Charles Ollivon, who cantered under the posts unopposed.
Italy captain Sergio Parisse’s importance to the Azzurri was highlighted against Russia as he began and finished this free-flowing move. Having claimed the lineout and delivered the ball safely to scrum-half Tito Tebaldi, some quick hands in midfield created the space for Jake Polledri to break through and take Italy deep into Russian territory. Tebaldi was on hand to continue the move and ship a pass out to Parisse who powered over the line.
Playing in the unfamiliar role of fly-half against Namibia at Tokyo Stadium, TJ Perenara side-stepped Prince Gaoseb before racing into opposition territory and producing a stunning pass to George Bridge. Once play was recycled Rieko Ioane popped a pass to Brad Weber whose ridiculous offload found Perenara on the left wing. The All Blacks replacement set a course for the line, brushing off tackles from Obert Nortje and Helarius Kisting to touch down in the corner. Just.
Starting inside his own 22, South Africa fly-half Elton Jantjies produced an inch-perfect kick-pass for winger Warrick Gelant, who evaded DTH van der Merwe and sprinted into the Canadian half. Damian de Allende offered support to keep the move going and in turn spun a pass to scrum-half Cobus Reinach, who breezed under the posts to complete his hat-trick with barely 20 minutes of this RWC 2019 Pool B match played.
Meanwhile, England wing Joe Cokanasiga has been nominated for World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year.
Cokanasiga is joined on the three-strong shortlist by South Africa scrum-half Herschel Jantjies and France fly-half Romain Ntamack.
England’s 21-year-old Fijian-born wing has appeared only once at the World Cup, against the USA when he scored two tries, but he has been a tackle-busting force since making his debut last autumn.
Previous winners of the award are New Zealand’s Nehe Milner-Skudder, England lock Maro Itoje, All Blacks wing Rieko Ioane and South Africa wing Aphiwe Dyantyi.
To be eligible, players must have completed less than one year of senior international rugby. Felipe Contepomi joins Heaslip, Habana, and Faamausili on the panel of former internationals who will select the winner.