Savea, Leti-I’iga up for top New Zealand Rugby Awards

The Wellington-based pair of Ardie Savea and Ayesha Leti-I’iga headline a list of six Samoans nominated for gongs at the New Zealand Rugby Awards.

Savea is among three nominees for both Super Rugby Player of the Year and All Blacks Player of the Year for his form at the Hurricanes and in the black jersey.

The 26-year-old loose forward will also contend with fellow Samoan Anton Lienert-Brown for the All Blacks Player of the Year title, with the Chiefs centre establishing himself in New Zealand’s first choice midfield this year.

Winger Ayesha Leti-I’iga is up for the Black Ferns player of the Year title, having started all six of the national team’s tests in 2019.

The 20-year-old was also nominated for the Fiao’o Faamausili Medal (named for the legendary Samoan Black Ferns captain), given to the best player in New Zealand’s domestic competition; the Farah-Palmer Cup.

Tone Ng Shiu, who was supposedly keen to play for Sir Gordon Tietjens’ Manu Samoa 7s before he was snapped up by New Zealand in 2017, has been nominated for All Blacks Sevens Player of the Year.

From the eventual winners of the four player of the year awards (All Blacks, Black Ferns in both Sevens and 15s), the overall Kelvin R Tremain Player of the Year award will be selected.

A pair of former Samoa Under-20 standouts are up for the Duane Monkley Medal in Salesi Rayasi and Chase Tiatia.

That award goes to the best player in the Mitre 10 Cup, New Zealand’s provincial competition, and Rayasi and Tiatia received two of the four nominations for their tremendous form for Auckland and Bay of Plenty respectively.

The winners will be announced at the awards night in Auckland on December 12th.



Duane Monkley Medal

•     Gareth Evans (Hawke’s Bay)

•    Salesi Rayasi (Auckland)

•     Fletcher Smith (Waikato)

•    Chase Tiatia (Bay of Plenty)

Fiao’o Faamausili Medal

•     Chelsea Bremner (Canterbury Women)

•    Ayesha Leti-I’iga (Wellington)

•     Patricia Maliepo (Auckland)

Investec Super Rugby Player of the Year

•     Scott Barrett (Crusaders)

•    Ardie Savea (Hurricanes)

•     Brad Weber (Chiefs)

Richard Crawshaw Memorial All Blacks Sevens Player of the Year

•     Dylan Collier (Waikato)

•     Andrew Knewstubb (Horowhenua Kapiti)

•    Tone Ng Shiu (Tasman)

Black Ferns Player of the Year

•     Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury)

•    Ayesha Leti-I’iga (Wellington)

•     Charmaine McMenamin (Auckland)

All Blacks Player of the Year

•     Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes)

•    Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs)

•    Ardie Savea (Hurricanes)

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