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Read stunned by Wales amazing response to the Haka - that even trumped England's V formation
By Rugby Onslaught

Read stunned by Wales amazing response to the Haka – that even trumped England’s V formation

Wales just stood there, united.

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Arm in the arm the brave Welshman watched as New Zealand performed their tourism dance, that every year attracts literally hundreds of people to the country.

Kieran Read leads the All Blacks haka for the last time but surely he wasn’t ready for the Welsh’s man highly original response?

We understand that is called the ‘Capital I’ response. Spine-tingling stuff and no doubt the brainchild of Warren Gatland.

CREDIT: World Rugby

World Rugby has announced the shortlists for the prestigious Men’s and Women’s 15s Player of the Year awards for 2019, which will be presented at the World Rugby Awards at The Prince Park Tower in Tokyo, Japan, on 3 November.

Following a stellar year for international rugby culminating in a very special Rugby World Cup 2019, the shortlists for the ultimate accolade feature players who have excited and inspired fans around the world with their feats during the year.

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The nominees for World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year in association with Mastercard are: Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa), Tom Curry (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa), Ardie Savea (New Zealand) and Joe Taufete’e (USA).

The nominees for World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year in association with Mastercard are: Sarah Bern (England), Pauline Bourdon (France), Kendra Cocksedge (New Zealand), Katy Daley-Mclean (England) and Emily Scarratt (England).

The shortlists were selected by the star-studded World Rugby Awards panels.

The men’s panel comprises Rugby World Cup winners Richie McCaw, John Smit, George Gregan, Maggie Alphonsi and Melodie Robinson, alongside Fiona Coghlan, Brian O’Driscoll, Fabien Galthié, Agustín Pichot and Seilala Mapusua.

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The women’s panel features Rugby World Cup winners Melodie Robinson and Danielle Waterman alongside World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Liza Burgess, Lynne Cantwell, Fiona Coghlan, Gaëlle Mignot, Jillion Potter, Karl Te Nana and journalist Stephen Jones.

International players have also had the opportunity to vote to determine the nominees of the prestigious awards.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The World Rugby Men’s and Women’s 15s Player of the Year awards are the ultimate accolade for test players and this year there have been an exceptional number of outstanding candidates. I would like to congratulate all 11 players who, deservingly, have been nominated for this year’s award.”

WORLD RUGBY MEN’S 15S PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES:

PIETER-STEPH DU TOIT (SOUTH AFRICA)
A linchpin in the South African pack, Du Toit has started eight of the Springboks’ 10 tests in 2019 and been an unused replacement in the RWC 2019 win over Canada. The towering 27-year-old may have flitted between second-row and flanker in the early days of his international career, but he has made the No.7 jersey his own over the last two years and his work-rate and versatility mean he is one of the first names down on Rassie Erasmus’ team sheet.

TOM CURRY (ENGLAND)
The youngest of the nominees at only 21, Curry has been at his destructive best during RWC 2019, tormenting teams at the breakdown and winning turnover ball with regularity as one half of England’s dynamic flanker pairing with Sam Underhill. A strong ball carrier who was named Player of the Match in the quarter-final against Australia, he has started 13 of England’s 14 tests in 2019, beginning the year at openside before switching to blindside in an inspired move by Eddie Jones.

ALUN WYN JONES (WALES)
He may easily be the oldest of the nominees at 34, but Jones is playing some of the best rugby of his career in 2019 – a year in which he has become his country’s most-capped player and moved to joint second in the history of the game. The towering second-row is a master in the lineout and carries the ball endlessly during a game, his energy levels seeming to have no limit as he pushes Wales forward. Captaincy clearly agrees with Jones, who has already led Wales to the Six Nations Grand Slam this year.

CHESLIN KOLBE (SOUTH AFRICA)
The dancing feet of Kolbe have lit up Rugby World Cup 2019 with the diminutive winger showing that size isn’t everything, his footwork and pace allowing him to turn a defence inside out and leave players clutching at thin air in his wake. The Springbok, who turned 26 earlier this week, has started six tests in 2019 and scored five tries, including two in the pool stage against Italy when he was named Player of the Match. An ankle injury ruled him out of the semi-final with Wales but the Springboks will be delighted he is back for the final.

ARDIE SAVEA (NEW ZEALAND)
With the ability to play anywhere across the back-row, Savea has been at his rampaging best in 2019, starting eight of the 10 tests played by New Zealand and coming off the bench against Canada in the RWC 2019 pool stage. His work-rate is such that you would be forgiven for thinking there was more than one Savea on the pitch at times, turning over ball at the breakdown, charging at the defence or popping up in a flowing attack.

JOE TAUFETE’E (USA)
The Eagles hooker has enjoyed a record-breaking year in international rugby, his hat-trick against Uruguay in March making him the most prolific try-scorer in front-row history – 18 tries in just 21 tests smashing Keith Wood’s record that had stood for nearly 14 years in a third of the caps. Taufete’e ended the Americas Rugby Championship as the top try scorer with six and was a key member of the Eagles’ squad for RWC 2019, starting all four matches in Japan.

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