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2009 Steinlager Rugby Award Nominees Announced

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
2009 Steinlager Rugby Award Nominees Announced

The nominees for this year's Steinlager Rugby Awards, New Zealand's premier rugby awards, have been announced.

The Steinlager Rugby Awards recognise and acknowledge the achievements of New Zealand's teams, coaches, players, referees and volunteers in 2009. The ceremony will be held at the SkyCity Convention Centre, Auckland, on Thursday 17 December and broadcast live on SKY Sport and The Rugby Channel.

A new name is being introduced for the award which annually recognises the great contribution volunteers make to community rugby. The winner of this year's volunteer award will be honoured with the Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year trophy, named after the man who introduced rugby to New Zealand. Nominees are Otago's Blair Crawford, Auckland's David Hickey and Peter Te Tai from Southland.

Recognising the Chiefs' first appearance in a Rebel Sport Super 14 Final, the nominees for the Rebel Sport Super 14 Player of the Year include Chiefs captain Mils Muliaina and hooker teammate Aled de Malmanche. They are joined by Hurricanes midfielder Ma'a Nonu.

The nominees for New Zealand Rugby Coach of the Year are Guy Lennox from Wanganui, Canterbury's Rob Penney, New Zealand Under 20 Coach Dave Rennie and the Chiefs' Ian Foster. Lennox and Penney both coached their team to repeat championships in the Heartland Championship and Air New Zealand Cup respectively in 2009. Rennie coached his age grade team to Junior World Championship honours in Japan this year, while Foster helped the Chiefs to a fairytale spot in the 2009 Rebel Sport Super 14 Final.

The adidas Team of the Year nominees are Air New Zealand Cup winners Canterbury, IRB Junior World Championship winners, the New Zealand Under 20 side, and Heartland Championship Meads Cup winners Wanganui.

The nominees for Air New Zealand Cup Player of the Year are Southland lock Josh Bekhuis and new All Blacks Mike Delany from Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay flyer Zac Guildford.

The Heartland Championship Player of the Year nominees are Mid Canterbury's Jon Dampney, Poverty Bay flanker Sione Ngatu and Asaeli Tikoirutuma from Wanganui.

The Women's Player of the Year will be chosen from a list of nominees announced after the Black Ferns play their second and final Test against England on Sunday morning 22 November (NZ time) at Twickenham.

The nominees for the NZRU Age Grade Player of the Year are New Zealand Schools' player Sam Cane, Manawatu's Aaron Cruden, Zac Guildford and Auckland midfielder Winston Stanley.

The Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year will be decided from Zac Guildford (Ngati Kahungunu), Wellington's Cory Jane (Ngati Kahungunu) and Canterbury lock Isaac Ross (Kai Tahu).

Those in line for the Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year are Bay of Plenty's Zar Lawrence, Wellington youngster Julian Savea and Otago Women's wing Carla Hohepa, the first woman to be nominated for this award.

The NZRU Referee of the Year and the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year will both be named on the night.

The Steinlager Salver, a special presentation to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand rugby, will also be presented at the Awards function.

The judges for the 2009 Steinlager Rugby Awards are former All Blacks captain and former NZRU President Andy Leslie, NZRU Board member and former All Blacks captain Graham Mourie, SKY Sport rugby commentator Grant Nisbett and former All Black and current NZRU General Manager Community and Provincial Union Rugby Brent Anderson.

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