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Barrett, Coles nominated for player award

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/11/2016

Beauden Barrett makes a run. © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images Beauden Barrett makes a run. Dane Coles © David Rogers/Getty Images Dane Coles

Beauden Barrett or Dane Coles could cap stellar seasons with the Hurricanes and All Blacks after being nominated for the World Rugby player of the year award.

A short list of six features three England players and Ireland No.8 Jamie Heaslip.

Black Ferns skipper Fiao'o Fa'amausili is also in contention to win the women's player of the year award, the hooker against England's Sarah Hunter and France's Gaelle Mignot.

Dynamic hooker Coles was an inspirational captain as the Hurricanes stormed to a maiden Super Rugby crown, playing with injury through the knockout phase, while Barrett pulled the springs brilliantly at first five-eighth.

Both continued their form into the Test arena for a dominant All Blacks side, with Barrett filling the No.10 jersey vacated by Dan Carter.

New Zealanders have won the player gong for the last four years, through Carter (twice), Kieran Read and Brodie Retallick.

The nominees from Six Nations champions England, unbeaten in 2016, are lock Maro Itoje, No.8 Billy Vunipola and first five-eighth Owen Farrell.

Itoje, 22, was also nominated last week in the breakthrough player category, enjoying a powerful rookie season. He also snared English and European club honours with Saracens.

New Zealand is in line for other awards at a World Rugby function on Monday, including gongs for best team (All Blacks), best women's sevens player (Portia Woodman), best try (TJ Perenara) and breakthrough player of the year (Ardie Savea and Anton Lienert-Brown).

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