There will be more than team silverware up for grabs at the Millennium Stadium in the final round of the RBS 6 Nations on Saturday as three Irishmen and one Welshmen chase the coveted RBS Player of the Championship crown.
The final shortlist for the official title for the 2009 tournament has been announced, with a fan’s poll deciding the result now open on www.rbs6nations.com.
Irish skipper Brian O’Driscoll and tam mates Paul O’Connell and Jamie Heaslip dominate the voting at present, although Welsh full back Lee Byrne is also in the running along with Italian skipper Sergio Parisse and England full back Delon Armitage.
Ireland are chasing a first Grand Slam since 1948 and a win in Cardiff could clinch yet another award for O’Driscoll. Last season, Wales’ Grand Slam winning wing Shane Williams took the award and went on to be crowned IRB World Player of the Year.
All six players were nominated by Team RBS, who together picked their top three players each. Former internationals Jason Leonard (England), Keith Wood (Ireland), David Sole (Scotland), Ieuan Evans (Wales), Philippe St Andre (France) and Alessandro Moscardi (Italy) based their decision on performance, form and achievement throughout this year’s tournament.
The 2009 RBS Player of the Championship will be decided as a result of a public vote, hosted on www.rbs6nations.com. Voting will continue through the final week of the Championship, and will close after the final round of matches, at 5pm on Monday March 23.