9 guys walk into a judging panel…..

9 guys walk into a judging panel…..

So the IRB 2008 player of the year nominations are in. Have a look at the names and see what strikes you about the list:

Shane Williams – Wales
Ryan Jones – Wales
Mike Blair – Scotland (pictured, just in case like me you were a little hazy)
Sergio Parisse – Italy
Dan Carter – New Zealand

Make sense to anyone that the top 4 teams in the world get one guy on a list where there’s room for Scotland’s second best half back?

Here’s how they came up with it:

A panel of former internationals, with over 500 caps between them and chaired by former Australia World Cup-winning captain John Eales, watched more than 47 hours of action from the 35 Tests played so far this year, awarding points to the three players they thought stood out in each match.

Eales’s fellow panellists included Tana Umaga, Raphael Ibanez, Will Greenwood, Francois Pienaar, Agustin Pichot, Gavin Hastings, Scott Quinnell and Paul Wallace.
The panel also voted for the IRB’s team and coach of the year.

So who else should have been on the list from south of the border? For mine, McCaw and Smith can probably be scratching their heads.


Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

More in Rugby