Springbok tries by Francois Hougaard and Cornal Hendricks are among the contenders for the International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA) Try of the Year 2014, World Rugby (formerly known as the IRB) announced on Wednesday. The winner will be named by the end of the year.
Hendricks’ contender try came on his debut against Wales in Durban in June. He finished off a move inspired by and twice featuring Willie le Roux who started the move in his own 22 and popped up again to make the scoring pass for the wing to dot down.
Hougaard’s try brought the Ellis Park crowd to its feet in the final match of the Castel Lager Rugby Championship in October. The scrumhalf dived under the posts to finish off a move that had begun deep in South Africa’s 22 and involved all of the backline on the way to a Springbok victory over New Zealand.
The award has been won twice previously by Springboks through Bryan Habana (2012) and Jaque Fourie (2009).
The other contenders in 2014 are tries by Welshman Jamie Roberts, Canada’s IRB Women’s Player of the Year 2014 Magali Harvey and England’s Jonny May.
The quintet was selected by the IRPA Try of Year panel of former players in Samoa’s Seilala Mapusua, All Black Jeff Wilson, Ireland’s Alan Quinlan and Dan Parks of Scotland.
In support of the initial nomination process, fans now have the chance to have their say on the shortlist via social media. The results of the public vote will be considered by the panel when finalising the winner.
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “These players have all given enormous enjoyment to fans around the world with their skill. These tries are testament to Rugby’s character-building values of teamwork and enjoyment and I am looking forward to seeing the result of the fan voting.”
2013 – Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
2012 – Bryan Habana (South Africa)
2011 – Radike Samo (Australia)
2010 – Chris Ashton (England)
2009 – Jaque Fourie (South Africa)
2008 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)