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Dublin: 15 °C Tuesday 25 September, 2018

Ireland's Niamh Briggs nominated for IRB World Player of the Year

The 29-year-old UL Bohemians and Munster fullback is on a four-player shortlist.

Briggs was excellent in the victories over USA and New Zealand.
Briggs was excellent in the victories over USA and New Zealand.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IRELAND FULLBACK NIAMH Briggs has been nominated for the 2014 IRB Women’s World Player of the Year award.

The Waterford native is included on a four-player shortlist alongside Canadians Kelly Russell and Magali Harvey, as well as France No. 8 Safi N’Diaye. The winner will be announced following the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday.

29-year-old Briggs delivered superb individual performances in the Pool C clashes against the US and New Zealand at the ongoing World Cup, excelling off the tee and attacking dangerously.

Similarly impressive have been the Irishwoman’s expert spiral kicking from hand and cover defence behind Ireland’s frontline. Briggs’ ability will be vitally important for Ireland during this evening’s semi-final against England in Paris [KO 5.00pm Irish time, TG4].

Canadian duo Russell and Harvey are nominated following their side’s run into the semi-finals, with the abrasive No.8 and intelligent wing having played starring roles. N’Diaye has been equally important for France, who play Canada in the second semi-final at Stade Jean-Bouin this evening.

UL Bohemians and Munster player Briggs is the fifth-best points scorer at the WRWC, with 25 points in total. Following a rest during the fixture against Kazakhstan, she will be eager to impress against an English side that includes some big names of its own.

Niamh Briggs 12/8/2014 Briggs at Ireland's Marcoussis base. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“I would like to congratulate all four of these players who have made the shortlist,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset of the nominees. “By making this exclusive list, they have already achieved something special regardless of who eventually wins the award.”

One of the features of a record-breaking Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 has been the noticeable step forward in terms of quality. The level of skill, athleticism, pace and power has never been so high in the women’s game as it is right now and there have never before been so many competitive teams.

“It really is impossible to predict with any degree of certainty who will be lifting the trophy on Sunday and all this bodes well for the future of rugby.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teams for making this tournament such a spectacle and for putting in such hard work to ensure such a high standard of play.”

Ireland is absolutely pumped for the RWC semi-final against England

5 key areas for Ireland in their World Cup semi-final against England

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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