Johnny Sexton and Beauden Barrett nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year

Johnny Sexton is the only player from the Northern Hemisphere to be nominated
Johnny Sexton is the only player from the Northern Hemisphere to be nominated
©PA

Ireland international Johnny Sexton has been nominated for the World Rugby Player of the Year award.

Sexton is the only player from the Northern Hemisphere to feature in the list after steering his club Leinster to a Pro14 and European Champions Cup double. He was also pivotal in Ireland winning the Grand Slam in the Six Nations earlier this year and also clinching the 2-1 series win in Australia during the summer series.

If the 33-year-old did manage to win the award, he will become the first Irish man in 17 years to claim it after Keith Wood, who won the award last in 2001.

However, Sexton will have to battle it out with Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), Faf de Klerk (South Africa), Rieko Ioane (New Zealand) and Malcolm Marx (South Africa).

Barrett - the winner of the award in the last two years steered the All Blacks to yet another Rugby Championship title this year in which he scored four tries in the game against Australia while Ioane, who has scored 22 tries from 21 Tests has been in stellar form including a hat-trick against France during the June series.

De Klerk and Marx has been vital cog of Rassie Erasmus' South Africa side.

The players were shortlisted by a panel comprising of Richie McCaw, John Smit, George Gregan, Maggie Alphonsi and former England coach Clive Woodward alongside Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll, Fabien Galthié and Agustín Pichot .

Meanwhile, French players Safi N'Diaye, Jessy Tremouliere, Gaelle Hermet and Pauline Bourdon and New Zealand captain Fiao'o Faamausili are nominated for the women's category.

The awards will be presented at the World Rugby Awards at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo on 25th November.