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Johannesburg – Springbok Sevens captain Kyle Brown has been nominated for the 2014 International Rugby Board (IRB) sevens player of the year award, the IRB announced on Wednesday.
Tim Mikkelson (New Zealand), Tom Mitchell (England) and Samisoni Viriviri (Fiji) were the other nominees named for the award.
“These four players have performed supremely this season and to be nominated by the teams you have played against is the highest accolade you can receive as a player,” IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset said in a statement.
“This shows just how significant their individual contributions have been for their teams and I would like to thank them and all the rest of the players for their dedication this season, and for making the Sevens World Series such a huge success.”
This season, Brown has successfully led the Springbok Sevens to Cup wins in Port Elizabeth and Las Vegas, and six top-four finishes.
A flanker in the 15-man game, Brown's versatility and strength allows him to play hooker in Sevens, a position he has made his own.
Meanwhile, reigning IRB Sevens Player of the year, Mikkelson, made the shortlist on the back of another consistent season for New Zealand. His fitness levels made him one of the best support players in the game and he is second only to Viriviri in the try-scoring charts.
England captain, Mitchell, has inspired his side to six top-four finishes so far. His restarts are key to England's ball-winning capabilities and he is also the season's top point-scorer with 310.
Viriviri has helped Fiji to wins in Dubai and Tokyo, scoring at the rate of one try per game, with 48 so far this season.
The winner will be announced at a function following the final round of the series, the London Sevens at Twickenham on May 10 to11. – Sapa