World rugby reveal panel to judge the Player of the Year awards

The World Rugby awards are the ultimate accolade for excellence in rugby on and off the field from community to elite rugby and, since its launch in 2001, the world’s biggest names and most successful teams have been honoured.
The 2017 panel consists of:

John Smit – former South Africa hooker and captain who led his team to victory at Rugby World Cup 2007; 111 caps; World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee #48, 2011.
George Gregan – former Australia scrumhalf and captain who was part of the Wallabies team that won Rugby World Cup 1999; 139 caps; World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee #64, 2013.
Maggie Alphonsi – former England flanker and Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 winner; 74 caps; World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee #132, 2016; 2006 Women’s Personality Award winner.
Clive Woodward – former England centre who coached England to victory at Rugby World Cup 2003; 21 caps plus two for British and Irish Lions; World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee #42, 2011; 2003 Coach of the Year.
Brian O’Driscoll – former Ireland centre and captain; 133 caps plus eight for British and Irish Lions; World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee #121, 2016; 2008 IRPA Try of the Year award winner.

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Agustin Pichot – former Argentina scrum-half and captain; 71 caps; World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee #46, 2011; 2008 IRPA Special Merit Award winner.
Richie McCaw – former New Zealand flanker and captain who led his team to victory at Rugby World Cup 2011 and 2015; 148 caps, 2006, 2009 and 2010 Player of the Year.
Fabien Galthié – former France scrum-half and captain; 64 caps; 2002 Player of the Year

The World Rugby Coach and Team of the Year will be selected by the panel with entries open to both men’s and women’s sevens and 15s.

World Rugby Awards:
World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year in association with Mastercard
The panel deliberates and selects the nominees based on who has performed to an exceptional standard throughout the year. Players, coaches, a panel of rugby media representatives from each region and fans are invited to vote on the nominees via #WorldRugbyAwards. The panel will then deliberate, informed by the player, coach, media and public votes to determine the winner.
World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year in association with Mastercard
The panel deliberates and selects the nominees based on who has performed to an exceptional standard throughout the year. Players, coaches, a panel of rugby media representatives from each region and fans are invited to vote on the nominees via #WorldRugbyAwards. The panel will then deliberate, informed by the player, coach, media and public votes to determine the winner.
World Rugby Coach of the Year
This award is open to coaches of the men’s and women’s sevens and 15s disciplines. Panellists award three points for the coach who has performed the best during the year in their eyes and then two points and one point. Points are collated to determine a winner.
World Rugby Team of the Year
This award is open to men’s, women’s, sevens and 15s teams. Panellists award three points for the team who has performed the best during the year in their eyes and then two points and one point. Points are collated to determine a winner.
World Rugby Referee Award
This award is open to current and retired referees. Panellists award three points for the referee or retired referee whom they feel should be honoured for their refereeing services and then two points and one point. Points are collated to determine a winner.
IRPA Try of the Year
Nominees are selected by the International Rugby Players’ Association and announced to the public and guests at the World Rugby Awards dinner who determine the winner.
World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year
This award is open to men’s, women’s, sevens and 15s players who have played no more than year of international rugby. Panellists award three points for the person whom they feel has burst onto the rugby scene in the past year and then two points and one point. Points are collated to determine a shortlist and winner.
World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year in association with HSBC
Panellists award three points for the player who has performed the best during the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series season in their eyes and then two points and one point. Points are collated to determine the nominees and a winner.
World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year in association with HSBC
Panellists award three points for the player who has performed the best during the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series season in their eyes and then two points and one point. Points are collated to determine the nominees and a winner.
Award for Character 
The Award for Character honours an individual, union or group who have shown an outstanding display of character which embodies the true values of rugby: integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline.
Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service
The Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service honours an individual, union or group, male or female, who has given outstanding service to their country and contributed to the international game in as many as possible of the following areas: playing, coaching, management, training, administration, media and broadcast.
 
IRPA Special Merit
The International Rugby Players’ Association Special Merit Award is presented to a player by fellow players in recognition of outstanding contribution to the professional game on and off the field.
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