South Africa Rugby’s Best: Nominees for men’s Player of the Year Revealed


The South African rugby scene is abuzz with excitement as five members of the victorious Springbok squad from the Rugby World Cup in France – Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Frans Malherbe, and Damian Willemse – have been nominated for the prestigious SA Rugby Men’s Player of the Year Award for 2023.

Eben Etzebeth, the previous season’s winner, is set to defend his title in a competitive field.

SA Rugby revealed the nominations across nine categories, with media members and key stakeholders casting their votes. The winners, including the OUTsurance Referee of the Year and the Provincial Women’s Player of the Year, will be announced early next year.

Etzebeth faces strong competition from former Player of the Year winners Kolisi (2021) and Du Toit (2019), as well as the steadfast Bok scrum anchor Malherbe and the talented Willemse, who previously earned nominations for Young Player of the Year and won the Youth Weeks Player of the Year Award in 2016.

In the women’s category, Nadine Roos aims to retain her Springbok Women’s Player of the Year title. She faces competition from previous winners Aseza Hele and Babalwa Latsha, along with Libbie Janse van Rensburg and Rights Mkhari.

The Young Player of the Year Award sees Canan Moodie, last year’s winner, challenged by Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, Jaden Hendrikse, Evan Roos, and newcomer Ruan Venter.

Ricardo Duarttee, the Rookie of the Year at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Awards, competes for the Springbok Sevens Men’s Player of the Year Award against Christie Grobbelaar and Shilton van Wyk.

Junior Springbok Player of the Year nominees include team captain Paul de Villiers, who led the SA U20s to a World Rugby U20 Championship bronze medal, Corne Beets, and Damian Markus.

The Coach and Team of the Year categories feature tight races between Jacques Nienaber and the Springboks, John Dobson and the DHL Stormers, and Hawies Fourie and the Toyota Cheetahs.

In the Currie Cup, Ruan Pienaar of the Toyota Cheetahs is nominated for the Premier Division award, alongside Airlink Pumas players Devon Williams and Tinus de Beer. The First Division Award sees Boland’s Cameron Hufke and Darian Hock competing against Keagan Fortune of the Valke.

The nominees are (in alphabetical order):

SA Rugby Men’s Player of the Year
Pieter-Steph du Toit
Eben Etzebeth
Siya Kolisi
Frans Malherbe
Damian Willemse

Springbok Women’s Player of the Year
Aseza Hele
Libbie Janse van Rensburg
Babalwa Latsha
Rights Mkhari
Nadine Roos

SA Rugby Young Player of the Year
Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (DHL Stormers)
Jaden Hendrikse (Springboks / Hollywoodbets Sharks)
Canan Moodie (Springboks / Vodacom Bulls)
Evan Roos (Springboks / DHL Stormers)
Ruan Venter (Emirates Lions)

Springbok Sevens Men’s Player of the Year
Ricardo Duarttee
Christie Grobbelaar
Shilton van Wyk

Junior Springbok Player of the Year
Corne Beets
Paul de Villiers
Damian Markus

Team of the Year
Toyota Cheetahs (Currie Cup)
DHL Stormers (Vodacom URC)

Coach of the Year
John Dobson (DHL Stormers)
Hawies Fourie (Toyota Cheetahs)
Jacques Nienaber (Springboks)

Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year
Tinus de Beer (Airlink Pumas)
Ruan Pienaar (Toyota Cheetahs)
Devon Williams (Airlink Pumas)

Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year
Keagan Fortune (Valke)
Darian Hock (Boland Kavaliers)
Cameron Hufke (Boland Kavaliers)

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