THE RPA COMPUTACENTER RUGBY PLAYERS’ AWARDS 2010

The RPA Computacenter Rugby Players Awards Dinner 2010 took place in May at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, attended by a host of Premiership and International players past and present. More information on the winners is below.

For the latest information on any RPA event, contact Louise Kaiser on 020 8831 7937 or lkaiser@theRPA.co.uk

BRITS AND YOUNGS TOP PLAYERS’ VOTE FOR RPA AWARDS

Saracens hooker Schalk Brits won vote of players throughout the Premiership and was awarded the prestigious Computacenter Players Player of the Year Award 2010 at the glittering RPA Computacenter Rugby Players’ Awards Dinner in May.

On collecting the award, Brits said: “This is a fantastic and very unexpected honour, and I’m proud and humbled to receive this award. To be rated by your peers is the greatest compliment that one could receive, and that is what makes receiving this award so unbelievable.”

The Norman Broadbent Young Player of the Year Award was awarded to Leicester Tigers’ Ben Youngs. Youngs was voted for by the players ahead of Chris Ashton and Courtney Lawes, both of Northampton Saints.

Others recognised on the night were Simon Shaw, who won the Special Merit Award sponsored by LV= Asset Management for his incredible contribution to the game, Chris Ashton, who topped the public poll for the Sunday Times Try of the Year, and Bill McLaren, who was posthumously inducted into the RPA HSBC Hall of Fame.

Andy Ripley received the Blyth Spirit Award sponsored by Towergate tlc, a special presentation from the RPA members for outstanding courage in the face of adversity.

Ripley, a Corinthian England International of the 1970s, was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2005. Since his diagnosis, he has worked closely with The Prostate Cancer Charity, using his media profile to raise awareness of the disease and encourage men to get tested as a preventative measure. After three years in remission, his cancer returned in 2008, but he has continued to fight the disease in his own, unmistakable and inspiring fashion.

The RPA Benevolent Fund, the Players’ Charity was also delighted to receive a cheque for £25,000, presented by Lawrence Dallaglio on behalf of theDallaglio Foundation. Dallaglio had nominated the Benevolent Fund as a beneficiary of the Dallaglio Cycle Slam, which earlier this year raised over £1 million for Sport Relief, the Dallaglio Foundation and its beneficiaries.

The cheque was accepted on behalf of the RPA Benevolent Fund by Damian Hopley, CEO of the RPA, who said: “My congratulations go to all the nominees and winners, but particularly to Schalk and Ben, who have been outstanding for their clubs throughout this season. We were delighted to see so many players and supporters of the RPA attending the dinner, not only to recognise the outstanding talent within the English game, but also to help raise much needed funds for the RPA Benevolent Fund, The Players’ Charity.”

The RPA Computacenter Rugby Players’ Awards Dinner supports the RPA Benevolent Fund, The Players’ Charity, providing financial support for players suffering serious injury, illness or hardship.

See the nominations for the Sunday Times Try of the Year 2010 here.