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French flavour to women's award list

World Rugby have named four France players in the mix for the Women's Player of the Year award

Pauline Bourdon (France) Gaëlle Hermet (France), Safi N’Diaye (France) and Jessy Trémoulière (France) are all named after strong Six Nations campaigns, while , Fiao’o Faamausili (New Zealand), who has played just two tests this year is also named.

The wisdom of running the women's award alongside the men's is worth questioning, given how many women's test sides wait until the Autumn to play their test matches. The decision to do it now based on games so far means that a raft of nations including Canada, USA and South Africa could not have their players considered.

Just 26 of the the 42 women's test games which will take place in 2018 have been played. 

The shortlist was selected by the World Rugby Awards panel which comprises Rugby World Cup winners Richie McCaw, John Smit, George Gregan, Maggie Alphonsi and former England coach Clive Woodward alongside Brian O’Driscoll, Fabien Galthié and Agustín Pichot - a panel which we have been strongly critical of. 

All four French players had outstanding seasons.  Jessy Tremouliere was our Player of the Six Nations, and Gaëlle Hermet was our Young Player of the Year, having captained the team at just 21 years old. 

Previous World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year Award winners:

2017 – Portia Woodman (New Zealand) 
2016 – Sarah Hunter (England)
2015 – Kendra Cocksedge (New Zealand)
2014 – Magali Harvey (Canada)
2012 – Michaela Staniford (England)
2011 – Ruth Mitchell 
2010 – Carla Hohepa (New Zealand)
2009 – Debby Hodgkinson (Australia)
2008 – Carol Isherwood (England)
2007 – Sarah Corrigan (Australia)
2006 – Maggie Alphonsi (England)
2005 – Farah Palmer (New Zealand)
2004 – Donna Kennedy (Scotland)
2003 – Kathy Flores (USA)
2002 – Monique Hirovanaa (New Zealand)
2001 – Shelley Rae (England)