The Herald - Sport - - RUGBY WORLD CUP -

To sug­gest a bit of rad­i­cal think­ing as World Rugby’s panel get ready to de­cide on the win­ners of the two most pre­dictable award cat­e­gories in world sport. The shortlists for the World Rugby team of the year and World Rugby coach of the year prizes – which will be handed out at the an­nual awards cer­e­mony on Sun­day - were an­nounced and, guess what, the All Blacks were on the list as was their head coach. Should they win it will be the fifth time in a row the All Blacks have been team of the year and the ninth time since 2005. Hansen could be coach of the year for a fourth suc­ces­sive year, his pre­de­ces­sor Graeme Henry hav­ing won it in four of the pre­vi­ous six years. With two Scots – John Jef­frey and Scott Hast­ings – on the five-man panel that de­cided the short­list we hes­i­tate to sug­gest it is the lat­est ev­i­dence of a stul­ti­fy­ing lack of imag­i­na­tion but, well … let’s just say that some­times it is worth con­sid­er­ing things such as resources and op­por­tu­ni­ties. Fun­nily enough the other World Cup fi­nal­ists, the Wal­la­bies, are also among the teams in the frame and so is their coach Michael Cheika. He, ad­mit­tedly, has brought about a re­mark­able turn­around in their for­tunes, but there is room for some hope that the truly re­mark­able team and coach­ing achieve­ments of the year will be ac­knowl­edged with Ar­gentina and Ja­pan and their coaches Daniel Hour­cade and Ed­die Jones all nom­i­nated.

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