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Braid up for NZ Super 14 player of the year

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Auckland loose forward Daniel Braid is in line to win the two top prises at New Zealand’s premier rugby awards.

The nominees for this year’s awards – which recognise and acknowledge the achievements of New Zealand’s teams, coaches, players, referees and volunteers in 2007 – were revealed on Wednesday.

The ceremony will be held at the Auckland Convention Centre on Thursday 13 December.

The nominees for the main award – the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year – are Braid, Auckland first five-eighth (number 10) Isa Nacewa and Wellington number eight Rodney So’oialo.

Braid is also a nominee for Super 14 Player of the Year together with his Blues team mate Isaia Toeava and Highlanders scrum-half Jimmy Cowan.

Nominees for the New Zealand Rugby Volunteer of the Year, which honours the many volunteers who work in community rugby, are Robbie Ball from Northland’s Kaeo Rugby Club, Myles Girvan from Hawke’s Bay’s Clive Rugby and Sports Club and Gus McMillan from Wellington’s Petone Rugby Club.

The nominees for New Zealand Rugby Coach of the Year are Auckland Air New Zealand Cup coach Pat Lam, Hawke’s Bay’s Peter Russell and New Zealand Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens.

The Team of the Year nominees are the New Zealand Under-19 team, which won the International Rugby Board (IRB) Under-19 World Championship this year, Air New Zealand Cup champions Auckland and Air New Zealand Cup semi-finalists Hawke’s Bay.

In the Women’s Player of the Year category, the nominees are 2003 winner Monalisa Codling from Auckland, her Auckland teammate Victoria Heighway and Otago winger Carla Hohepa.

In the domestic competition categories, Wellington fullback Cory Jane receives his second consecutive nomination for Air New Zealand Cup Player of the Year, alongside Southland prop Jamie Mackintosh and Auckland first five-eighth Isa Nacewa.

The Heartland Championship Player of the Year nominees are North Otago flanker Ross Hay, Poverty Bay loose forward Malakai Ravulo and Wanganui prop Mike Thompson.

Several of the award winners, including the NZRU Referee of the Year, NZRU Age Grade Player of the Year, Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year and Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year, will be named on the night.

The Salver, a special presentation to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand rugby, will also be presented on the night.

The judges for the 2007 Rugby Awards were former All Blacks captain and former NZRU President John Graham, NZRU Board member Paul Quinn, commentator Grant Nisbett, veteran journalist and author Bob Howitt, and NZRU Professional Rugby Manager Neil Sorensen.

The 2007 Awards nominees:

Women’s Player of the Year
Monalisa Codling (Auckland)
Victoria Heighway (Auckland)
Carla Hohepa (Otago)

New Zealand Rugby Volunteer of the Year
Robbie Ball (Northland)
Myles Girvan (Hawke’s Bay)
Gus McMillan (Wellington)

Super 14 Player of the Year
Daniel Braid (Blues)
Jimmy Cowan (Highlanders)
Isaia Toeava (Blues)

Team of the Year
Auckland
Hawke’s Bay
New Zealand Under 19

Heartland Championship Player of the Year
Ross Hay (North Otago)
Malakai Ravulo (Poverty Bay)
Mike Thompson (Wanganui)

Air New Zealand Cup Player of the Year
Cory Jane (Wellington)
Jamie Mackintosh (Southland)
Isa Nacewa (Auckland)

New Zealand Rugby Coach of the Year
Pat Lam (Auckland)
Peter Russell (Hawke’s Bay)
Gordon Tietjens (New Zealand Sevens)

Kelvin R. Tremain Memorial Player of the Year
Daniel Braid (Blues, Junior All Blacks, Auckland)
Isa Nacewa (Blues, Auckland)
Rodney So’oialo (Hurricanes, All Blacks, Wellington)

* NZRU Referee of the Year, NZRU Age Grade Player of the Year, Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year, Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year and Salver for an Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Rugby winners will be named on the night.

 

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