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Sexton up for world player of the year award

Sexton has been on fine form in the last year. Credit: PA

Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton has been nominated for the 2014 International Rugby Board world player of the year award.

Sexton, who played an instrumental role when Ireland beat South Africa last weekend, is among five nominations announced by the IRB.

The 29-year-old has been joined on the shortlist by South Africa full-back Willie le Roux and Springboks number eight Duane Vermeulen, and New Zealand wing Julian Savea and All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick.

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North takes central role for Wales

George North will move into the centre when Wales open their autumn Test campaign against Australia on Saturday..

Injuries to both Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams have forced head coach Warren Gatland into switching the Northampton wing into midfield, where he will be partnered by Jamie Roberts.

George North usually operates on the wing. Credit: PA

Wales team to play Australia at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday:

L Halfpenny (Toulon); A Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), G North (Northampton), J Roberts (Racing Metro), L Williams (Scarlets); D Biggar (Ospreys), R Webb (Ospreys); P James (Bath), R Hibbard (Gloucester), S Lee (Scarlets), J Ball (Scarlets), A-W Jones (Ospreys), D Lydiate (unattached), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: S Baldwin (Ospreys), G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), R Jones (Scarlets), B Davies (Wasps), J Tipuric (Ospreys), M Phillips (Racing Metro), R Priestland (Scarlets), C Allen (Cardiff Blues).

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