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Barrett, Folau in line for top gong

Beauden Barrett is in the running to claim back-to-back World Rugby Player of the Year awards and his New Zealand team-mate Rieko Ioane is also on a five-man shortlist.

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Barrett became the fifth consecutive All Blacks to win the prestigious gong last year and the fly-half could retain his crown in Monte Carlo on 26 November.

Ioane only made his Test debut 12 months ago and the rapid wing has been recognised for a magnificent start to his international career, having scored nine tries in 11 matches for the world champions.

England duo Owen Farrell and Marro Itoje have been shortlisted for the second year in a row following outstanding displays for their country, the British and Irish Lions and Saracens.

Itoje was named 2016 Breakthrough Player of the Year and will be hoping to land the big prize this time around.

Wallabies full-back Israel Folau has also been shortlisted after scoring an Australian record 12 tries in 10 Tests this year.


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