A special edition of the World Rugby Awards will take place on 7 December, 2020 to celebrate members of the rugby family who have provided incredible service to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic and players and teams who have starred over the last decade.
With the global pandemic limiting test match activity in 2020, this year’s Awards will be hosted virtually across World Rugby’s digital and social platforms and will not feature the usual celebration of on-field achievements during the calendar year.
Uniquely, the Awards will focus the spotlight on members of the rugby family that showcased great solidarity during the pandemic, supporting their communities, getting involved in relief efforts and showcasing the sport’s character-building values.
The celebration will also look back at a decade of international rugby and recognise in eight new categories teams and individuals who have inspired players and fans around the world. Bringing the awards closer to fans, winners in six categories will be decided by an online vote open to the public. The remaining two categories will be voted by the World Rugby Awards panel, a stellar team of rugby legends, who choose the annual World Rugby Awards player, team and coach winners.
World Rugby Awards Special Edition – eight categories
- Fans' Choice
- Men’s 15s Player of the Decade in association with Tudor
- Women’s 15s Player of the Decade in association with Tudor
- Men’s Sevens Player of the Decade in association with HSBC
- Women’s Sevens Player of the Decade in association with HSBC
- Men’s 15s Try of the Decade in association with International Rugby Players
- Women’s 15s Try of the Decade in association with International Rugby Players
- World Rugby Awards Panel Choice
- Men’s 15s Dream Team of the Decade
- Women’s 15s Dream Team of the Decade
The event will be co-hosted by former England international and World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Maggie Alphonsi and rugby presenter Alex Payne on Monday, 7 December. The show will be made available for free to rugby fans globally via World Rugby digital channels.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “We are excited to host our World Rugby Awards in an innovative format this year to acknowledge the exceptional circumstances our sport has gone through in recent months.
“The World Rugby Awards Special Edition will embody the core rugby value of solidarity and I am extremely proud to use this platform to recognise efforts made by members of our global rugby family to fight the pandemic.
“It will also be a night of celebration with accolades for teams and individuals that have showcased tremendous talent on the field of play over the last decade. I am looking forward to seeing who rugby fans around the world will decide to honour.”
Alphonsi added: “As our sport carefully begins to restart around the world, it is important to keep celebrating what makes rugby so special: its values, communities and best performers. I am truly honoured to co-host the show with Alex, and I look forward to unveiling the winners to rugby fans from around the world in December.”
The list of nominees and details of the online vote for the six Fans' Choice categories will be unveiled in due course.