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Rugby Union - England trio up for Six Nations award

AFP logoAFP 20/03/2017
England's centre Owen Farrell (2R) vies with Ireland's fly-half Johnny Sexton during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on March 18, 2017. © Provided by AFP England's centre Owen Farrell (2R) vies with Ireland's fly-half Johnny Sexton during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on March 18, 2017.

England trio Owen Farrell, Joe Launchbury and Maro Itoje were named on a 12-man shortlist for this year's Six Nations Player of the Championship award.

Players were awarded points for their performances across the championship, with former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett helping to draw up the shortlist.

Tournament winners England topped the list of nominees with three players. Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg, who won last year's award, was joined on the list by team-mate Finn Russell, while Rhys Webb and Ken Owens represented Wales.

France provided Louis Picamoles and Camille Lopez and Ireland saw Conor Murray and CJ Stander nominated, with Italy captain Sergio Parisse completing the list. A public vote to decide the winner will close at 1200 GMT on Tuesday.

Ireland have dominated the award since it was created in 2004, with Brian O'Driscoll winning it three times.

In pictures: Six Nations Gameweek 5

In pictures: Six Nations Gameweek 5
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