Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber, centurion lock Eben Etzebeth and flyhalf Manie Libbok are among a top-class list of nominees for the 2023 World Rugby Awards.

The awards will be presented at the Opéra Garnier in Paris on Sunday, 29 October. This is a day after Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final at the Stade de France.

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Nienaber is in line for the World Rugby Coach of the Year award. Etzebeth and Libbok have been nominated in the categories of World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year and World Rugby Men’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year respectively. Etzebeth was also selected for the World Rugby Men’s 15s Dream Team.

Nienaber will go up against Ian Foster (New Zealand), Andy Farrell (Ireland) and Simon Raiwalui (Fiji) for the coaching award.

Etzebeth, who is currently the third most capped Springbok player of all time with 118 Test caps, has been nominated for the Player of the Year award alongside Bundee Aki (Ireland centre), Antoine Dupont (France scrumhalf and captain) and Ardie Savea (New Zealand loose forward).


Libbok features on an exciting list of nominees for Breakthrough Player of the Year along with Louis Bielle-Biarrey (France wing), Mark Tele’a and Tamaiti Williams (New Zealand wing and prop respectively).

“We would like to congratulate Jacques, Eben and Manie for being nominated for these prestigious awards. We wish them luck for the awards ceremony,” said SA Rugby President, Mr Mark Alexander.

“These awards recognise the best coaches and players in the world. To have nominees in three categories is a testament to the class of our coaches and players in South Africa.

“I would also like to use this opportunity wish the Springboks good luck for the final against New Zealand. It is a massive honour to represent your country on the biggest stage in world rugby. Everyone at SA Rugby and the entire nation is behind you. We have full faith in you to continue giving the country hope and putting smiles on people’s faces.”