WINNERS QUOTES FROM THE RPA COMPUTACENTER PLAYERS’ AWARDS 2012

23rd May 2012

A selection of quotes from award winners at The RPA Computacenter Players Awards 2012:

Hugh Vyvyan, who won the TAG Heuer Special Merit Award said: Its a huge honour and I feel very privileged to have had a 16-year rugby career and Ive thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Its a game that I really love and Im delighted to receive this award.

Im extremely proud to achieve such recognition from my peers. Ive been an RPA representative at both Newcastle and Saracens and Ive always tried to help out wherever I can and support my fellow professionals.

Id like to thank the RPA Board Members for selecting me for this award, it means a great deal to me and its the perfect way to end my career.

Jason Robinson OBE, who was inducted into The RPA Hall of Fame in association with KPMG, said: Its fantastic to be thought of in this way, you only have to look at the names of the recipients so far, they are some of the best players who have ever played the game. For me to be thought of in this way is superb and something Im extremely proud of.

Sometimes you dont realise what youve been part for all these years. Rugby union for me, especially after a very successful career in rugby league, has made a good career great, and Im delighted to receive such an award.

Id like to say thank you to The RPA. The support they provide is massive and it means a great deal to all associated with the game and we all appreciate the work they do.

Ben Skirving won the Aviva Player Development Award: Id like to thank The RPA and Aviva for nominating me for this award, its much appreciated and something Im very proud of. I think its great that players off-field work is being recognised as that too is really important.

The way the sport is now unfortunately means serious injuries do happen and careers can be cut short, so youve got to be thinking about the future. I think we all need to be thinking about life after rugby, the support the RPA provides is fantastic and the more players to take advantage of that the better.

Mat Turner was named HSBC England 7s Player of the Year: Im delighted to accept the HSBC England Sevens Player of the Year award. Its been a very good year for me and Im very grateful that my team-mates have rewarded me with this honour.

Id like to thank the RPA and HSBC for introducing this new award and Id also like to thank HSBC for their continued support of Sevens rugby, its because of that support the sport is growing in such a big way.

Alex Bennett received The RPA Blyth Spirit Award in association with Towergate tlc following his inspiring progress after a tackle left him paralysed while playing for Lymm RFC earlier this year. The award is a special presentation from the RPA members for outstanding courage in the face of adversity.

To receive this award after Andy [Blyth], Matt [Hampson] and so many other inspirational characters is truly a great honour. Hopefully I can give something back in the same way they have. Im not sure Ill be climbing up a mountain next year but Ill certainly be involved in challenges in the future.

Its wonderful to be nominated by The RPA Management Board for such a prestigious award and to be receiving it from Andy Blyth, who has been so supportive in my recovery, is truly humbling. Id like to thank all the medical staff and the whole rugby community, especially Lymm RFC, for the support they have given me and my family since the accident. It really has been overwhelming and we cant thank people enough.

Michael Claassens was awarded The Sunday Times Try of the Year for the second year running, this time for his try against London Irish at the Rec on 1st January 2012, which was voted for by fans on www.theRPA.co.uk

On the winners of the Computacenter Players Player and LV= Young Player of the Year, Damian Hopley, CEO of the RPA, said: Nick and Owen thoroughly deserve these awards, voted for by their fellow players. They have been in outstanding form for their clubs this season and Owen has also made a very impressive impact to what we all hope will be a long and successful England career. This evenings RPA Computacenter Players Awards has been the biggest and best to date, reflecting the growing popularity of rugby union and also providing much needed support to The RPA Benevolent Fund  The Professional Players Charity.

ENDS