After admirable attempts by World Rugby to make genuine strides towards gender equality they go and do this. Sloppiness in naming seven men – Fabien Galthié, George Gregan, Richie McCaw, Brian O’Driscoll, Agustín Pichot, John Smit and Clive Woodward – and former England flanker Maggie Alphonsi (right) on the judging panel to select the women’s player of the year was compounded by the short-list they decided upon.
“I think [New Zealand’s] Fiao’o Faamausili is a wonderful player but I’m sure she’d agree, it’s odd to be named on a shortlist for the World Player of the Year on the back of just two (fairly straightforward) wins,” said Ali Donnelly of scrumqueens.com. “It is blatantly implausible that any of the seven [men] have either seen a single women’s game in full over the past year, or could intelligibly discuss the merits of the best women’s players on the circuit without someone else’s notes or a highlights reel. There is not even a pretence of gender balance on the panel.” Maybe WR couldn’t find any women. Maybe they couldn’t care less. Either way we can’t wait to hear these male legends explain their research when deciding the winner.