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Canadian winger Magali Harvey nominated for rugby try of the year

11/19/2014 09:19 EST | Updated 01/19/2015 05:59 EST
TORONTO - Canadian Magali Harvey's banner rugby year just got even better.

The 24-year-old from Quebec City, named the IRB Women’s Player of the Year in August, has been nominated for the International Rugby Players' Association Try of the Year.

Harvey's nominated try saw the Canadian winger race 87 metres, eluding several defenders before crossing the line at the Women's World Cup.

"It was a great try, a timely one," said John Tait, coach of the Canadian women's sevens team.

The score early in the second half proved to be the winning try that sent Canada to the World Cup final, giving the Canadians an 18-6 lead over host France. The French scored two late tries but Canada hung on for an 18-16 win.

It was also a team score. Canada, within metres of its own goal-line, won a French scrum to start the play. Three passes later, the ball went to Harvey who turned on the afterburners.

"That's her role, to be a finisher out there," said Tait. "It's the same thing with our sevens team. She's at the end of the receiving line, I guess you could call it, on our attack as well — same as 15s."

Canada eventually lost 21-9 to England in the World Cup final. Harvey was Canada's leading scorer at the tournament with 61 points, second only to Emily Scarratt of England.

The other players in the running for top try are South Africa's Francois Hougaard and Cornal Hendricks, Wales' Jamie Roberts, and England's Jonny May.

"These players have all given enormous enjoyment to fans around the world with their skill," said Bernard Lapasset, chairman of World Rugby (formerly known as the International Rugby Board). "These tries are testament to rugby's character-building values of teamwork and enjoyment and I am looking forward to seeing the result of the fan voting."

The nominees were chosen by a panel of former players in Samoa's Seilala Mapusua, New Zealand's Jeff Wilson, Ireland's Alan Quinlan and Scotland's Dan Parks.

World Rugby says fan social media comment on the shortlist — using the hashtag #IRBAwards on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram — will be considered by the panel in choosing the winner.

The winner will be announced by the end of the year.

Harvey is up against some tough competition. The tries by Hougaard, Hendricks and Roberts are consummate team efforts that saw the ball move through many pairs of hands up the pitch.

May's try, from earlier this month, was a brilliant individual effort that saw the England winger use his blistering pace to slice through the All Blacks defence.

Previous winners include New Zealand's Beauden Barrett, South Africa's Bryan Habana and Jaque Fourie, Australia's Radike Samo, England's Chris Ashton and Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll.

Harvey plays both the 15-player and sevens version of rugby but her World Cup heroics came after just a handful of games for the full senior side over the last three years.

The young wing remains a work in progress. Tait says her combination of pace and evasiveness is one of the best on the circuit.

"The challenge for her is when to step and accelerate and when to move the ball," he said.

Harvey is the first Canadian to win the IRB Women's Player of the Year Award.

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

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