Sarah Hunter: England women’s captain one of four nominated for Rugby Union Writers’ Club personality of the year award

England number eight Sarah Hunter at training Credit: Alamy
England number eight Sarah Hunter at training Credit: Alamy

England women’s captain Sarah Hunter features on the list of nominees for the Rugby Union Writers’ Club personality of the year for 2022.

Hunter became the most capped player in the English game when she eclipsed Rocky Clark’s milestone of 137 and by the end of the World Cup she had amassed 140 appearances.

The 37-year-old number eight also led England to a record 30-Test winning run that ended with a 34-31 defeat by hosts New Zealand in the final of the global showpiece two months ago.

If Hunter wins the vote, she will become the third woman to claim the prestigious Pat Marshall Memorial Award currently held by France scrum-half Antoine Dupont, following in the footsteps of Maggie Alphonsi and Emily Scarratt.

Referee, two Test coaches and a player up for the award

Joining her on the list of nominees for 2022 are two rugby league greats who have played influential roles in the success of Ireland and France, the year’s outstanding international sides.

Andy Farrell guided Ireland to the summit of the global rankings as head coach, in the process masterminding the nation’s first series victory in New Zealand.

Shaun Edwards, meanwhile, has helped transform Grand Slam winners France into 2023 World Cup favourites by adding steel to their defence as an assistant coach to Fabien Galthie. By the end of the year France had won all 13 of their Tests.

Completing the list of nominees is Wayne Barnes after he became only the second referee to oversee 100 Tests, joining Nigel Owens in the elite band of centurion officials. Barnes won the club’s special award in 2022.

The winner will be announced through the media and the RUWC’s social media accounts and will be honoured at their annual lunch on May 25.

Greats of the game whose names have been engraved on the winners’ trophy in the past include Gareth Edwards, Bill Beaumont, David Campese, Jonah Lomu, Martin Johnson, Jonny Wilkinson, Alphonsi, Brian O’Driscoll and Dan Carter.

Writers and broadcasters from the club’s 280 members have cast their votes for the Pat Marshall Memorial Award, which has been presented by the club every year since 1976.

The Rugby Union Writers’ Club was founded in January 1960 to further the interests of its members – drawn mainly from the UK, but also from around the world – and the sport of rugby union.

Rugby Union Writers’ Club’s personality of the year nominees

Wayne Barnes
Shaun Edwards
Andy Farrell
Sarah Hunter

READ MORE: Wales: Warren Gatland brings Alex King and Mike Forshaw into the backroom team

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