Nominees for World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year announced

Joe Cokanasiga has scored seven tries from nine Tests
Joe Cokanasiga has scored seven tries from nine Tests
©Steve Haag

World Rugby has nominated three players including England wing Joe Cokanasiga for the Breakthrough Player of the Year award.

Cokanasiga made his international debut in November last year and has scored seven tries from nine Tests while featuring in the World Cup group game against the United States.

The 21-year-old is joined by South Africa scrum-half Herschel Jantjies and France fly-half Romain Ntamack in the nomination list.

"The World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year award recognises the most exciting talent to burst onto the international 15s or sevens stage during the year and highlights the 'ones to watch'," said World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.

"There were several outstanding candidates and the process of selecting the shortlist was tough for the panel. We have three outstanding candidates, who would be worthy recipients of this prestigious award."

For a player to be eligible, he must have completed one-year of international rugby and the shortlist for this year was made by a panel comprising of former internationals Jamie Heaslip, Felipe Contepomi and Rugby World Cup winners Fiao’o Faamausili and Bryan Habana

Former World Rugby Player of the Year and 2007 World Cup winner Habana added:

"With a number of players bursting onto the international scene over the past year, it was no easy feat choosing only three nominees for the Breakthrough Player of the Year award but the nominees selected have shown their pedigree on the biggest stage and in so doing are fully deserving of their nomination."

The previous winners of the award include New Zealand's Nehe Milner-Skudder, England lock Maro Itoje, All Blacks wing Rieko Ioane and South Africa wing Aphiwe Dyantyi.

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