World Rugby's player of the year is set to be announced this week and like many similar awards it causes controversy. The nominees of Antoine Dupont, Michael Hooper, Samu Karevi and Maro Itoje baffled a lot of fans, mainly down to the lack of South African representation and the inclusion of Itoje.
Another player that was left out was Tadhg Furlong.
The Ireland and Leinster prop played a pivotal role in Ireland's success this year and started in all three of the Lions' tests in South Africa. This year has also seen Furlong, along with Ronan Kelleher and Andrew Porter, form perhaps the best front row in international rugby.
Many fans and pundits would hold the opinion that Furlong is by far the best tighthead in the world, including Luke Fitzgerald.
Speaking at the launch of the GOAL Mile partnered with AIB, Fitzgerald said that he could not understand how Furlong was not nominated for the World Rugby player of the year award.
He's so much better than anyone else in the world in that position.
It's amazed me how Furlong has gone without a nomination so far because I think he's unbelievable.
He's basically like a back rower around the pitch but he can do all the tough and grimy stuff as well.
Fitzgerald highlights a huge issue with awards like these in rugby, and that's that props get immensely overlooked for awards despite the key role they play.
Since the World Player of the Year award was introduced in 2001, no prop has ever been nominated for the award. It's the only position on the field that holds such a distinction.
A prop's work always seems to go under the radar because they aren't the types of players who consistently make highlight plays but their importance on the field is priceless, as Luke Fitzgerald says:
If you've not got a good tighthead prop, you're goosed!
In my mind it's crazy that one of them haven't been nominated so far.
It looks like Antoine Dupont will win World Player of the year this year after guiding Toulouse to European glory and starring for France, but hopefully Furlong gets the recognition for his brilliance in the years to come.
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