Wings from all corners of the world dominate the four-man shortlist for the International Rugby Players' Association (IRPA) Try of the Year award after stunning scores in 2012.
Hosea Gear and Julian Savea (both New Zealand), Bryan Habana (South Africa) and Julien Malzieu (France) have all been nominated for their moments of individual brilliance.
This quartet of tries was selected by an esteemed panel of All Blacks Test centurion Mils Muliaina, South Africa’s Try of the Year 2009 winner Jaque Fourie, former IRB Player of the Year Shane Williams and Japan’s Daisuke Ohata, the leading try scorer in Test Rugby.
The panel, which between them boast more than 300 Test matches and 195 international tries, now has the unenviable task of deciding which of these tries should be named the IRPA Try of the Year 2012.
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First, though, Rugby fans around the world have a chance to nominate their favourite try from the shortlist with an interactive format used for the second year in a row.
Nominations can be made from now until 17:00 UK time on Wednesday 28 November and can be submitted via Rugby World Cup Facebook page.
Flying the flag for Europe in the Try of the Year shortlist is Malzieu. The tall and rangy wing fended off two would-be tacklers before stepping inside another in a mesmerising run on his way to Italy’s try-line in the RBS 6 Nations encounter in Paris.
Gear’s effort in the third Test against Ireland in June was all about power and pace, too. The speedster got on the end of a tremendous offload from Conrad Smith following an overthrown Ireland lineout, and raced down the left touchline, leaving his opposite number for dead. Gear then bulldozed his way past Keith Earls to score in the corner.
Habana’s try stemmed from a lineout move bang on the All Blacks’ 10-metre line during The Rugby Championship match in Dunedin. While off balance South Africa flanker Francois Louw was able to get his pass away to the onrushing Habana, who took the ball at pace and then gathered his own chip ahead for a marvellous score.
Rounding off the nominations is Savea’s second try for New Zealand against Scotland at Murrayfield earlier this month. Dan Carter’s deft kick over the Scottish defence was caught on the bounce by Savea, who stood up his man before sprinting over in the left hand corner.
The IRPA Try of the Year 2012 winner will be announced on Thursday, November 29.
2011 – Radike Samo (Australia) – Australia v New Zealand
2010 – Chris Ashton (England) – England v Australia
2009 – Jaque Fourie (South Africa) – South Africa v British & Irish Lions
2008 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) – Australia v Ireland