Burgess one unlucky omission from Sports Personality of the Year top 10

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The final shortlist has been announced and, in truth, it looks a two way battle to take the 2014 BBC Sports Personality of the Year between Rory McIlroy and Lewis Hamilton.

The golfer, victor of two Majors this year, is overwhelming 3/10 favourite having been subject to a barrage of bets, including nearly £2,500 staked by one punter alone.

If he can see off the double F1 champion Hamilton (12/5), he looks to have it in the bag with the rest of the field 33/1 and bigger.

The compiling of the short-list is a thankless task for the organisers, with countless names set to fall at the final hurdle.

Here we take a look at four sportsmen and women who are worthy of a place in the final 10.

Sam Burgess

British sports fans are set to get a closer look at the man who has taken the NRL by storm in recent years, when he switches codes and takes the field for Bath.

Burgess was a key factor in the South Sydney Rabbitohs side that won the NRL title for the first time in 43 years.

The way in which he picked up the Clive Churchill medal, as the best player in the final, despite fracturing his cheek bone and eye socket in the first tackle of the match, says it all about his determination to succeed.

The Dewsbury-bruiser didn’t let this tackle ruin his Grand Final…

Jonny Wilkinson

A whopping 11 years since Wilkinson kicked that fateful drop-goal to land England the World Cup, the fly-half bowed out of the game, but not before having a season to remember.

The 35-year-old led Toulon to the Top 14 title, but not before kicking 13 points in a decisive 23-6 victory over Saracens in the Heineken Cup final.

An England legend who probably wasn’t far away from appearing on the shortlist again.

Wilkinson doing what he did best for Toulon…

Ryan Moore

While not the outgoing type that the title of this award suggests you need to be, there is no doubting Moore’s achievements this year.

Picking up 15 Group 1 wins in seven different countries speaks volumes about the man who took Richard Hughes all the way in the race for the Jockeys Championship. Without a doubt one of the best in the business over the past 12 months.

Moore’s ride around the whole field in the Cox Plate was up there with the best…

Claudia Fragapane

Fragapane became the most successful female Commonwealth Games competitor to represent England in 80 years when she picked up four gold medals in the Team, All-Around, Vault and Floor Exercise gymnastic events.

She may be slightly aggrieved to miss out on the short-list after those achievements, but at just 17 years old, will have plenty more opportunities to land this particular prize.

The Bristol-born gymnast wrapped up her showing in Glasgow with this performance.. 


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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.