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‘He’s Got Their Respect’: Irish Pavilion nominated for award

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World Rugby has admitted the arrival of brilliant Australian-born Irish winger Mac Hansen to the Test arena, while a pair of teammates could deny Charlotte Kaslick a third Sevens Player of the Year title.

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Australia has five players in the mix for the men’s and women’s singles top honour, after both teams won the world championships earlier this year.

Wallaroo Emily Chancellor and Wallabies center Lalakai Foketi were shortlisted for the women’s and men’s best experience awards, respectively, in a barren showcase for the 15-man squad.

There is one Australian in the limelight, though, as talented ex-Brumbies Hansen was nominated for Breakthrough Player of the Year after the sparkling Test entry at fullback for Ireland.

Signed by former Australia men’s sevens coach Andy Friend for Connacht in 2021, Hansen was man of the match on his Test debut and is likely to line up against his birth country in Dublin this weekend.

“I knew he was going to love Ireland, the Irish were going to love him…and he earned their respect,” said Dan McKellar, former Bromby coach and current Wallaby assistant. “(It was) sad to see him go…but he wanted to try a new life. If we had asked him if he was going to play for Ireland in 6-12 months after that, he would have laughed. (I’m) happy for him, but hopefully we’ll keep him.” Quiet Saturday.”

Kaslik is on her way to claiming the best sevens gong for women in back-to-back years—she also won the award in 2016—but teammates Madison Levy and Faith Nathan stand in her way.

The rookie pair were pivotal to the 2022 triple team title, and the prolific try-hitter Levy in particular, were runners-up, as they added Commonwealth Games and World Cup golds to their series triumph.

Following the Hong Kong Sevens victory at the weekend, men’s sevens captain Nick Maloof and live teammate Corey Toole were also shortlisted for the top prize, after Australia won their first World Championship title in August.

World Rugby Award Nominations

* Player of the Year: Lukhanyo Am (RSA), Antoine Dupont (FRA), Johnny Sexton (IRL), Josh van der Flier (IRL)

Coach of the Year: Andy Farrell (IRL Men), Fabian Galthi (FRA Men), Simon Middleton (England Women), Wayne Smith (NZ Women)

* Women’s Breakthrough Player of the Year: Maud Muir (England), Vitalina Nyikur (FIJ), Ross (New Zealand), Robbie Toye (New Zealand)

* Player of the Year: Henry Arundell (England), Ange Capuzzo (ITA), McHansen (IRL), Dan Sheehan (IRL)

This year’s women’s bid: Sylvia Brandt (New Zealand), Emily Chancellor (Australia), Abby Dow (England), Linda Djogang (IRL), Numawethu Mapeng (RSA)

Men’s bid for this year: Rodrigo Fernandez (Chile), Lalakai Foketi (Australia), Chris Harris (SCO), Eduardo Padovani (Italy), Luis Reis Zammit

Sevens Player of the Year: Charlotte Kaslick (AUS), Madison Levy (AUS), Amy Lee Murphy Crowe (IRL), Faith Nathan (AUS)

Men’s Sevens Player of the Year: Terry Kennedy (IRL), Nick Malouf (AUS), Kaminiele Rasaco (FIJ), Corey Toole (AUS).

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