The final shortlist for the official RBS Player of the Championship of the 2010 RBS 6 Nations has been announced, with a fan's poll deciding the result now open on www.rbs6nations.com.
With France now favourites to lift the trophy on Saturday, four French names dominate the shortlist of six players with Imanol Harinordoquy
, Mathieu Bastareaud
, Morgan Parra
and Thierry Dusautoir
all receiving a nod. 2008 RBS Player of the Championship Shane Williams
offers a Welsh nomination and Ireland’s Tommy Bowe
finishes the list of six players competing for the accolade.
A panel of former internationals from all six nations submitted their top three nominations, from which the shortlist of six nominees was compiled. Panelists included BBC Sport pundits Keith Wood, Raphaël Ibañez and Jonathan Davies, RBS RugbyForce supporters Andy Nicol, Ieuan Evans and Jason Leonard, as well as former RBS Ambassador Alessandro Moscardi who ensured an Italian vote was cast. The panel were asked to base their decision on performance, form and achievement throughout this year’s Tournament so far.
Despite the French Championship victories of 2006 and 2007, Brian O’Driscoll has taken the trophy home to Dublin in three out of the past four years, proving that RBS Player of the Championship is not always awarded to a member of the winning team. Previous RBS Player of the Championship, Shane Williams went on to win the highly coveted IRB Player of the Year award in the same year (2008), so victory for this year’s winner is sure to be a sign of great things to come.
The 2010 RBS Player of the Championship will be decided as a result of a public vote, hosted on www.rbs6nations.com
. Voting will continue through the final week of the Championship, and will close after the final round of matches, at Midnight on Monday 22nd March.
Once the votes have been counted and verified, the announcement of the official RBS Player of the Championship will be issued to press during the following week. Opportunities for media access will be advised and confirmed nearer the time.
now for your RBS Player of the Championship.