12 Jan 2011

All Blacks in running for World Team of the Year award

11:30 am on 12 January 2011

The All Blacks have been nominated for the Laureus World Sports team of the year after winning the Tri-Nations without losing a game and completing another grand slam on their end of year Northern Tour.

The team of the year category looks to be one of the most competitive ever, with the All Blacks nominated alongside award favourites the Spanish football team, who claimed the country's first ever World Cup title in South Africa.

Also nominated are the European Ryder Cup golf team, European football's Champions League winners Inter Milan, the NBA basketball champion NBA Lakers and the constructors championship winners the Red Bull Formula One team.

The New Zealand freestyle motocross rider Levi Sherwood has been shortlisted for the World Action Sportsperson of the year award alongside surfers Stephanie Gilmore of Australia and the Kelly Slater of the United States as well as British BMX star Jamie Bestwick, Spanish windsurfer Victor Fernandez, and US snowboarder Shaun White.

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal will be hoping to win his second World Sportsman of the Year accolade, after becoming the first man since 1969 to win the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in the same year.

Nadal is up against Germany's Sebastian Vettel, the youngest ever winner of the Formula One World Championship, the Philippines boxer Manny Pacquiao and, for the first time ever, three stars from team sports - the LA Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant and Barcelona footballers Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.

Three-time Laureus winner Serena Williams is nominated once again for the World Sportswoman of the Year Award after winning two Grand Slam titles in 2010.

Also shortlisted are two other tennis players, Belgium's Kim Clijsters and Denmark's world number Caroline Wozniacki, American ski star Lindsey Vonn and athletes Jessica Ennis of Britain and Croatian high jump sensation Blanka Vlasic.

The awards Ceremony will be held in Abu Dhabi on February the 7th.