DHL Western Province star Seabelo Senatla and Werner Kok have both been nominated for the 2015 World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Award, in association with HSBC.
This announcement, made by World Rugby on Sunday evening, capped off a memorable season for the Springbok Sevens duo, who alongside fellow team member Kwagga Smith, was also named in the Series Dream Team after the completion of the final tournament in London.
Kok and Senatla were nominated with Fijian ace Semi Kunatani, with the trio voted for by the management teams of the 15 core sides who compete at all nine rounds of the World Series.
Kok, who played all his junior rugby for DHL Western Province, ended the season as the leading tackler of all players and also scored 23 tries.
Senatla finished the season as the leading try-scorer on the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series circuit with 47 tries. Two of his 47 tries were voted as this season’s fans’ favourites, as well as scoring in both of South Africa’s Cup Final victories in Dubai and Port Elizabeth.
Should one of Kok or Senatla walk away with the honours later this year, they will follow in the footsteps of Cecil Afrika, who won the prestigious award in 2011.
Senatla – who could rejoin the DHL Stormers squad soon – was humbled by the nomination, but added: “It would have been more special had the team achieved the series win, because that is what it was all about.
“The team was solid all year and my personal achievements come from the team. The credit should go to them and our management.”
Kok agreed: “They were there all the way and brought the energy and effort and that made me the best player I could be. It is still a great honour for me.”
The three players are the first World Rugby Award nominees to be announced in 2015 with all awards to be presented at the World Rugby Awards dinner on 1 November following the Rugby World Cup 2015 final in England.