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Nigerian-born British Player, Itoje for 2016 World Rugby Award


A Nigerian-born British rugby player, Maro Itoje, has been nominated for award in the World Rugby Breakthrough Player category by the world rugby governing body.

Others in the category are Anton Lienert-Brown of New Zealand and his compatriot, Ardie Savea.

The nomination is contained in a statement by the World Rugby Media Department on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Itoje became the fourth successive England player to be named European Player of the Year.

The 21-year-old, who plays for Saracens, loves writing poems, discussing politics and knows about the economic happenings of Nigeria, though he was not born here.

World Rugby said that the three players nominated for the Breakthrough Player of the Year award, have all come through the World Rugby U-20 Championship in recent years.

The statement said that the presentation would be made at the 2016 World Rugby Awards dinner scheduled for Nov. 13 at the Hilton London Metropole.

Others shortlisted are Osea Kolinisau of Fiji, South Africa’s Seabelo Senatla and Virimi Vakatawa of France in the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year in association with HSBC category.

Those in the Women’s Sevens Player of the Year category are Charlotte Caslick of Australia, Emily Scarratt of England and Portial Woodman of New Zealand.

Nominees for the World Rugby Team of the Year are England, Fiji Sevens and New Zealand.

In the World Rugby Coach of the Year category are Steve Hansen of New Zealand, Eddie Jones of England and Ben Ryan of Fiji Sevens.

World Rugby Referee nominees are Jérôme Garcès of France, Alhambra Nievas of Spain, Jaco Peyper and Rasta Rasivhenge, both from South Africa.

Those in the International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA) Try of the Year category are Jamie Heaslip, TJ Perenara and Kaito Shigeno.

Those shortlisted for the prestigious World Rugby Player of the Year and World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year for 2016 will be announced on Nov. 7.


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