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Sexton nominated for IRB award

Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton has been nominated for the 2014 International Rugby Board world player of the year award.

Sexton, who played an instrumental role when Ireland beat South Africa last weekend, is among five nominations announced by the IRB.

The 29-year-old has been joined on the shortlist by South Africa full-back Willie le Roux and Springboks number eight Duane Vermeulen, and New Zealand wing Julian Savea and All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick.

Players were chosen by an eight-man panel, with nominated candidates selected following their Test match performances this year.

Previous winners include England 2003 World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson, ex-Wales wing Shane Williams and current New Zealand captain Richie McCaw, who was the recipient a record three times. McCaw's All Blacks team-mate Kieran Read won the 2013 award.

"All of these nominees have enjoyed stellar years, and the focus on who will claim this accolade will add an extra dimension to the remaining November Tests," IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset said.

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