The players have voted behind closed doors, and we're pleased to announce the five finalists to win the Australian Women's Rugby Sevens team's most prestigious honour, the 2018 Players' Player of the Year.
The 2017-18 season was another outstanding one for the Australian women's team, winning their second World Rugby Sevens Series title as well as winning Silver at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and bronze at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco.
All players who featured in official World Rugby series were asked to vote on a 3-2-1 basis, with nine players highlighted due to the number of tournaments they appeared in. The award’s previous winners are Emilee Cherry (2013 & 2014), Charlotte Caslick (2015 & 2016) and Chloe Dalton (2017).
The five 2018 finalists are:
Two-time winner of this award and the only player to be nominated every season of the award's existence, Charlotte Caslick continued to shine on the global stage in the 2017-18 season, earning selection in the Sydney Dream Team and featuring in 6 of the 7 tournaments the squad played in.
The Queensland-born playmaker is still just 23 years of age, and scored 75 points on the World Series circuit in 2017-18, while she has made more tackles than any other player in the world in the history of the World Rugby Sevens series.
Cherry, who won the first two iterations of this award in 2013 and 2014, is nominated for a staggering fifth time on the back of a standout season where she played in every tournament, earning Dream Team selection in both Sydney and Paris.
The team's most capped player, Cherry has scored the second most tries in the history of the World Rugby Sevens series, and scored critical tries in the final tournament of the season in Paris to ensure Australia made the final and won the World Series!
Dominique Du Toit
A first-time nominee for this award, 21-year-old Dominique Du Toit had a breakout year on the circuit as she cemented her place as a critical cog in the team's engine and score 75 points along the way.
Born in Zimbabwe, Dom earned her first ever Dream Team selection in Paris and while injury ruled her out of the Rugby Sevens World Cup this lightning-quick youngster has truly emerged as one of the brightest stars in the world; awesome to watch in full flight!
Also nominated for the first time, 23-year-old Pelite had her breakout year in 2017-18, the lone Australian to be selected in the overall World Rugby Sevens series Dream Team and the Rugby Sevens World Cup Dream Team.
Playing every tournament for the season, Pelite is a regular line-breaker and quality finisher who possesses a phenomenal turn of speed and has exceptional ability to read the space.
Australia's leading World Series try-scorer in 2017-18 with 26 over five tournaments, Emma Tonegato is nominated for this award for a third time (2015 & 2016). In 2017-18, Emma played in all seven tournaments, earning Dream Team selection in Dubai.
Ranked 5th in the all-time World Series stats for clean breaks and the 7th highest try scorer in history, her personal highlights reel continues to grow with another handful of spectacular tries this season which highlighted her speed, strength and Rugby smarts.
The Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens Players’ Player award is one of eight major awards presented at the Volvo-RUPA Awards Luncheon on Wednesday December 12. Stay tuned for announcements regarding the finalists in other award categories over the coming days and weeks.