Video: Jamie Heaslip faces tough contest for world try of the year award

Japan’s Kaito Shigeno and New Zealand’s TJ Perenara also shortlisted

Jamie Heaslip’s brilliant try against Italy after a nine-pass, 80 metres move has been shortlisted for the try of the year award by World Rugby.

The Ireland number eight finished off the move on the stroke of half-time, the first of his two tries in the 58-15 win over the Azzurri at the Aviva Stadium during the Six Nations in March.

The move started outside Ireland's 22 with Josh van der Flier and Rory Best clearing out a ruck, with Heaslip taking a bang on the ear as he tussled with Italy centre Gonzalo Garcia ahead of the play.

Scrumhalf Conor Murray fed outhalf Johnny Sexton, who would touch the ball three times in the move; the first two coming in a quick loop pass move with Fergus McFadden, who had temporarily replaced Robbie Henshaw.


The move fixed Italy hooker Davide Giazzon and flanker Alessandro Zanni but the move almost fell apart when Sexton's pass to Simon Zebo looked to go beyond his right hand.

Not for the first time, the Munster back showed fine powers of recovery to avoid knocking the ball on as he burst through a hole between centre Michael Campagnaro and winger Mattia Bellini.

Campagnaro recovered to catch a hold of the back of Zebo's shirt but the fullback's back of the hand pass was taken one-handed by centre Jared Payne as Ireland moved over the halfway line.

Payne's looping infield pass was gobbled up by Sexton, who put the head down before a beautifully weighted inside pass to Andrew Trimble coming off his wing.

Keith Earls waved frantically at Trimble to feed him in midfield but the Ulster winger made the right call in taking the ball into the tackle and passing to McFadden for his second touch in the move.

McFadden's final pass to Heaslip was weak with the number eight reaching behind him before riding the tackles of Leonardo Sarto and Bellini to complete the move.

Heaslip’s try will face stiff competition from the effort of Japan’s Kaito Shigeno in a 10-pass length of the pitch score in their June Test against Scotland in Tokyo .

The third try shortlisted showed off New Zealand’s ruthless attacking instincts in the Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires at the beginning of October.

TJ Perenara fielded an Argentina kick-off deep in his half and 15 seconds later the scrumhalf was sliding over the line as the half-time hooter blew.

Heaslip is the only nomination for an Ireland player, team of official across seven categories, with the winners to be announced at the World Rugby Awards on November 13th in London.

World Cup winners New Zealand and Fiji Sevens, winners of the Olympic gold medal, will fight it out with Grand Slam champions England for the team of the year award. The respective coaches of those sides – Steve Hansen, Ben Ryan and Eddie Jones – are also nominated.

The men’s and women’s player of the year shortlists will be announced on Monday November 7th.


Team of the Year
Fiji Sevens
New Zealand

Coach of the Year
Steve Hansen (New Zealand)
Eddie Jones (England)
Ben Ryan (Fiji Sevens)

Sevens Player of the Year
Osea Kolinisau (Fiji)
Seabelo Senatla (South Africa)
Virimi Vakatawa (France)

Women's Sevens Player of the Year
Charlotte Caslick (Australia)
Emily Scarratt (England)
Portial Woodman (New Zealand)

Breakthrough Player of the Year
Maro Itoje (England)
Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand)
Ardie Savea (New Zealand)

IRPA Try of the Year:
Jamie Heaslip (Ireland v Italy)
TJ Perenara (New Zealand v Argentina)
Kaito Shigeno (Japan v Scotland)

Referee Award
Jérôme Garcès (France
Alhambra Nievas (Spain)
Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist