Australian Rugby
Five contenders for John Eales Medal
September 18, 2008

The Australian Rugby Union and the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) have tonight revealed the top five contenders for the 2008 John Eales Medal and for an exciting new award involving online voting by Wallabies fans.

An announcement on the Fox Sports Inside Rugby program confirmed that Qantas Wallabies stars Rocky Elsom, Matt Giteau, Stirling Mortlock, Wycliff Palu and George Smith are in the running for both prestige honours, with the winners to be named at the John Eales Medal night in Sydney on Thursday, October 23.

The John Eales Medal is presented to the Qantas Wallabies player who polls the most number of votes from teammates, cast on a 3-2-1 basis after each Test.

This year's Medal takes in the Wallabies' five matches at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France and the nine Tests played so far this season under new coach Robbie Deans as part of the 2008 Test series.

However, for the first time, Rugby fans will also have the chance to vote on the Wallabies player they believe has been the best and most consistent during the same 14-Test campaign.

A new award entitled Australia's Choice - 2008 Wallaby of the Year will be determined by votes cast online, with full details available at, and

Supporters will be asked to vote for one of the five contenders for the John Eales Medal, and the player polling the most votes from the fans will receive the Australia's Choice - 2008 Wallaby of the Year award.

Voting will be open until 5pm on Sunday, October 19.

Previous winners of the John Eales Medal are: 2007 - Nathan Sharpe 2006 - Chris Latham 2005 - Jeremy Paul 2004 - David Lyons 2003 - Phil Waugh 2002 - George Smith


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