The Courier-Mail - - SPORT -

IS­RAEL Fo­lau’s 12-try spree in 2017 has earned him a shot at break­ing the All Blacks’ stran­gle­hold on World Rugby’s cov­eted Player of the Year award.

World Rugby’s an­nual awards din­ner in Monaco on Novem­ber 26 may just be the ideal start of a Euro­pean va­ca­tion for Fo­lau and fi­ancee Maria Tu­taia, af­ter the full­back elected to recharge by miss­ing the Wal­la­bies’ cur­rent tour.

It is Fo­lau’s first nom­i­na­tion for the pres­ti­gious gong which has gone to a player from the world cham­pion All Blacks for seven of the past eight years.

All Blacks Beau­den Bar­rett and Rieko Ioane have been nom­i­nated, as have Eng­land’s Owen Far­rell and Maro Itoje, both stand­outs for the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions in this year’s drawn Test series against the Ki­wis in New Zealand.

New Zealand’s Kelly Bra­zier and Por­tia Wood­man, Eng­land’s Ly­dia Thomp­son and French pair Ro­mane Me­nager and Safi N’Di­aye were nom­i­nated for the women’s award.

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