01/19/2016 17:49 EST | Updated 01/19/2017 00:12 EST

DTH van der Merwe leads list of finalists for Rugby Canada player of the year

TORONTO — Winger DTH van der Merwe is up against Ray Barkwill, Aaron Carpenter and Ciaran Hearn for Rugby Canada's fifteens players of the year award.

All four excelled at the Rugby World Cup last year with van der Merwe and Hearn both making Rugby World magazine's team of the pool stage. Barkwill, a pugnacious hooker, and former captain Carpenter, who impressed from the back row and as hooker, also had fine tournaments.

The men's sevens player of the year is between captain John Moonlight, Sean Duke, Harry Jones and Conor Trainor.

Finalists for women's fifteens player of the year are Latoya Blackwood, Andrea Burk, Barbara Mervin and Laura Russell.

Top women's sevens player is between Ghislaine Landry, Kayla Moleschi, Karen Paquin and Ashley Steacy.

The winners, via a fan vote at, will be announced April 15 at a dinner in Victoria.

The Canadian Press