All Blacks and Black Ferns dominate player of the year shortlists as bolters Rieko Ioane and Portia Woodman gain first nominations

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The All Blacks and Black Ferns have dominated this year's nominations for World Rugby's player of the year, with two from each team making the shortlist of five for each award.

The All Blacks' winger says he’s happy to play anywhere for his country.

Rieko Ioane.

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All Blacks first-five and 2016 winner Beauden Barrett has been nominated again while also joined by breakout winger Rieko Ioane - England's Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje join them as well as Wallabies fullback Israel Folau.

World Cup winners Kelly Brazier and Portia Woodman have also been named in the women's category alongside England's Lydia Thompson and French pair Romane Menager and Safi N'Diaye.

The try-scoring machine said the team is grateful for what they have.
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It's the second award nomination Woodman has received for this year's awards after her stunning solo run off a scrum against the USA in the World Cup semi-finals was also shortlisted for try of the year.

It's also Ioane's second after he was named a finalist in the breakthrough player of the year category.

"There have been numerous highlights from a fascinating year of international rugby that comprised an outstanding women's Rugby World Cup, a compelling British and Irish Lions tour, Six Nations and the Rugby Championship competitions and a superb programme of test rugby," World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said.

"As ever, the selection of men's and women's 15s player of the year nominees by the panel has excellence as the core consideration and all are not just superb players, but role models.

The All Blacks' winger picked up two tries in the 54-34 win in Sydney.
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"I am sure there will be lots of debate over the coming weeks. I'd like to thank the panel for their expert consideration and look forward to the winners being announced at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco."

Both shortlists were selected by the newly-appointed World Rugby awards panel which is made up by former All Black Richie McCaw, John Smit, George Gregan, Maggie Alphonsi, former England coach Clive Woodward, Brian O'Driscoll, Fabien Galthie and Agustin Pichot.

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