Six up for IRB award
The International Rugby Board have announced the six-man shortlist for the IRB Player of the Year 2011 award, with the winner to be announced in Auckland on Monday.
Four of the contenders will be taking part in the World Cup final at Eden Park on Sunday - France captain Thierry Dusautoir and the New Zealand trio of scrum-half Piri Weepu, flanker Jerome Kaino and centre Ma'a Nonu.
The other two nominees are Australia's flanker David Pocock and scrum-half Will Genia, who will both play against Wales in Friday's bronze final. Pocock has been nominated for the second year in a row, having missed out to All Blacks captain Richie McCaw in 2010.
"The IRB Player of the Year award is the ultimate accolade for a player to receive in his career. It takes on added significance in a Rugby World Cup year and takes into account player performances in all major internationals, including matches in the RBS 6 Nations and Tri Nations," said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset.
"The list of past winners of this prestigious award is very impressive and comprises players of the calibre of Schalk Burger, Dan Carter, Jonny Wilkinson, Bryan Habana, Shane Williams and Richie McCaw - the only player to have received the coveted award on more than one occasion."