US star makes shortlist for rugby's world player award

TOKYO (AP) — United States hooker Joe Taufete'e is a surprise inclusion on the six-man shortlist for World Rugby's Player of the Year award for 2019.

Taufete'e became the most prolific try-scorer in international history by a front-row forward, his hat trick against Uruguay in March taking him to 18 in his first 21 in tests — beating the record held by Ireland hooker Keith Wood. He was also the top try-scorer in the Americas Rugby Championship, with six.

Three players who will take the field for the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday, England flanker Tom Curry and South Africans Cheslin Kolbe and Pieter-Steph du Toit, are also up for the award, as are Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones and New Zealand flanker Ardie Savea.

The winner will be announced in Tokyo on Sunday.


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