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World Rugby awards fall two weeks early

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/09/2016

World Rugby's annual awards this year will be held two weeks before the international season finishes.

The governing body confirmed in a statement the awards, which have been dominated by New Zealanders in recent years, will take place in London on November 13.

There are two Test weekends remaining in the international window for leading teams at that stage. The All Blacks will play Ireland in Dublin and France in Paris later in November.

The award ceremony is traditionally held after the last Test of the year.

An article on the World Rugby website says the world champion All Blacks are "surely in contention to be named the World Rugby Team of the Year for the seventh year in a row".

Panel convenor John Eales, the former Wallabies captain, says Six Nations champions England could also come into contention.

"Steve Hansen has led the All Blacks to another level this year but they have been well matched by Eddie Jones and his English team."

An All Black has been crowned player of the year at each of the last four award ceremonies - Dan Carter (twice), Kieran Read and Brodie Retallick.

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