Rugby World Cup finalists England and South Africa have been joined by New Zealand, Wales and Japan in World Rugby’s Team of the Year nominations for 2019.
All four teams who reached the semi-finals of the showpiece tournament in Japan have been rewarded for their efforts, with the respective coaches also up for the Coach of the Year award.
Eddie Jones, Rassie Erasmus, Steve Hansen and Warren Gatland are on the list, along with Jamie Joseph, who guided Japan to their first-ever World Cup knockout stage.
The hosts were eventually defeated by South Africa, with Erasmus then guiding Rugby Championship winners the Springboks to a 19-16 win over Wales, who won the Six Nations Grand Slam under outgoing coach Gatland.
New Zealand and Hansen are both in the running, despite the All Blacks seeing their long reigns both at the top of the rankings and as world champions ended.
Five coaches have been nominated for the World Rugby Coach of the Year 2019 award.
Who do you think should win?
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) October 31, 2019
Ireland dominated the 2018 awards, winning the Team of the Year accolade as coach Joe Schmidt and player Johnny Sexton were recognised for their individual efforts.
Their failure to advance beyond the World Cup quarter-finals, beaten by New Zealand, means neither the team nor Schmidt are nominated this time.
The 2019 Player of the Year nominations are still to be announced, before the awards are handed out in Tokyo on Sunday.
Earlier in the week, World Rugby announced Joe Cokanasiga (England), Herschel Jantjies (South Africa) and Romain Ntamack (France) are up for the Breakthrough Player of the Year gong.
Rugby World Cup scores from Charles Ollivon (France), TJ Perenara (New Zealand) and Cobus Reinach (South Africa) are bidding alongside Italy captain Sergio Parisse’s Test effort for the Try of the Year.
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