The International Rugby Board has announced that the IRB Awards in association with Emirates Airline will return to London this year. The prestigious gala event that recognises outstanding achievers in the Game, will be held at the impressive Old Billingsgate venue on November 23.
“The IRB is delighted to be returning to London for the staging of the eighth annual IRB Awards in association with Emirates Airline,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
“The IRB Awards has grown to become the premier awards event on the global Rugby calendar and it is fitting that an event of its stature should be hosted in the impressive Old Billingsgate building, one of London’s most renowned events venues.”
“The IRB is looking forward to November when the Rugby community will come together to recognise individuals who have made a significant contribution to the Game, while recognising the players, coaches, teams and administrators who continue to advance the Game on and off the field,” added Lapasset.
There are 13 categories of awards that include the coveted IRB Player of the Year, IRB Coach of the Year and IRB Team of the Year. The event also recognises Age Grade and Women’s Rugby and there is a special Spirit of Rugby award which honours outstanding contribution to the Game.
A short-list of nominees for the player, coach and team categories will be announced after the completion of the current Tri Nations and the final selection will also take into account performances during the November Tests.
The impressive Old Billingsgate venue will host the IRB Awards in November
As in previous years, the nominees will be selected by a world renowned panel of nine former internationals with over 800 caps between them convened by double Rugby World Cup winner John Eales. The panel comprises; Will Greenwood, Paul Wallace, Gavin Hastings, Scott Quinnell, Francois Pienaar, Raphael Ibanez, Tana Umaga and Agustin Pichot.
Past winners of the coveted IRB Player of the Year include Keith Wood (Ireland), Fabien Galthie (France), Jonny Wilkinson (England), Dan Carter (New Zealand), Schalk Burger and Bryan Habana (both South Africa).
During the IRB Awards Dinner a total of five candidates will be inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame - two from the 19th Century, two from the 20th Century and one from the 21st Century.