THREE players with links to Hartpury College and University were shortlisted for World Rugby awards.
Alex Matthews, Maud Muir and Louis Rees-Zammit all studied at the Forest institution.
Gloucester-Hartpury’s Matthews was named in this year’s international ‘dream team’ at flanker when the awards were announced on Sunday (November 20).
Matthews was also one of five players shortlisted for the hugely prestigious World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year, after a year of spectacular international appearances.
The accolade went to New Zealand co-captain Ruahei Demant.
Former Hartpury College A-level student Matthews made the move to Gloucester-Hartpury from Worcester Warriors this summer.
The back-row has won 56 caps since making her Red Roses debut in 2011 and was part of their 2014 Rugby World Cup winning squad. She won her 50th cap this year against France.
The 29-year-old is also a hugely successful sevens player, winning bronze in the 2018 Commonwealth Games with England, finished fourth at Tokyo 2020 with Team GB and was voted RPA World Sevens Player of the Year in 2018.
Alex was also an integral part of England’s team that reached a sixth successive Rugby World Cup final earlier this month, which finished in a close defeat to New Zealand.
Hartpury was well represented in the recent Women’s Rugby World Cup squads.
Prop Maud Muir also made an appearance in what was a relentless match against the Black Ferns.
Maud is currently employed by Hartpury as a scrum coach. She only made her Red Roses’ debut in November last year, featuring in all four of England’s 2021 autumn internationals and made her first start against the USA.
Like Alex, Maud joined Gloucester-Hartpury this season, moving from Wasps.
At just 21 years of age, Muir has won 17 England caps, a Six Nations grand slam and been to a Rugby World Cup final.
She was nominated for the Women’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year.
Louis Rees-Zammit, former Hartpury College student, was shortlisted for International Rugby Players Men’s Try of the Year after a stellar display of his formidable acceleration impressed the panel when Wales faced South Africa on July 2.
The former Rugby Players Association’s Young Player of the Year is a former student of the Level Three National Extended Diploma in Sport (Performance and Excellence) in Rugby.
Tom Radcliffe, Director of Elite Sport at Hartpury University and Hartpury College, said: “To be nominated for these types of awards are very special.
“All three players have been outstanding during the last twelve months, whether they win the trophy or not.
“We follow all of our alumni with interest and these three individuals are role models for the next generation of dual career athletes starting and progressing through Hartpury University and Hartpury College.”
Returning to a physical format for the first time since the pandemic, the 22nd World Rugby Awards were presented at a ceremoney at the Salle des Etoiles in Monaco under the patronage of Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene.