Smith Crowned Players’ Player of the Year

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Wasps’ flanker, George Smith, added to an already memorable season by being crowned the RPA Players’ Player of the Year in association with England Rugby, at the 18th annual RPA Players’ Awards 2016 in association with England Rugby.

The evening played host to some of the biggest names in the game and honoured the outstanding achievements of the season so far, with Smith, currently in his 17th year of professional rugby, registering the highest number of votes from his fellow professionals to be named the Players’ Player of the Year.

The Wallabies back-row has been a dominant force in this season’s Aviva Premiership, making 17 appearances for the club and playing a key role in their run to the play-offs.

Smith said upon winning his award: “It’s a truly humbling feeling to receive this award, especially as it’s voted for by my peers. I have thoroughly enjoyed my season playing in England and representing such a determined and driven club like Wasps has made my job so much easier. I have cherished each moment I have taken the pitch, the fans in England are superb and I look forward to finishing our season on a high as we strive towards success in the play-offs.”

Other notable award winners on the night included Maro Itoje as LV= Young Player of the Year, Billy Vunipola as The Old Mutual Wealth England Player of the Year and former Ireland and British & Irish Lions centre, Brian O’Driscoll, was inducted into the RPA Hall of Fame in association with KPMG.

You can find a full list of all winners below.

The RPA Players’ Awards 2016 in association with England Rugby winners:

 

The RPA Players’ Player of the Year in association with England Rugby

Winner: George Smith – Wasps Rugby

Andy Goode – Newcastle Falcons

Nathan Hughes – Wasps Rugby

Charles Piutau – Wasps Rugby

Thomas Waldrom – Exeter Chiefs

 

 

LV= Young Player of the Year

Winner: Maro Itoje – Saracens

Jack Clifford – Harlequins

Elliot Daly – Wasps Rugby

Harry Mallinder – Northampton Saints

Harry Thacker – Leicester Tigers

 

The Old Mutual Wealth England Player of the Year

Winner: Billy Vunipola – Saracens

James Haskell – Wasps Rugby

George Kruis – Saracens

Chris Robshaw – Harlequins

Anthony Watson – Bath Rugby

 

HSBC England Sevens Player of the Year

Winner: Dan Bibby

Warwick Lahmert

Ruaridh McConnochie

 

The O2 England Women’s Player of the Year

Winner: Sarah Hunter

Emily Braund

Heather Fisher

 

The Greene King IPA Championship Player of the Year in association with England Rugby

Winner: Jack Lam – Bristol Rugby

Ryan Burrows – Yorkshire Carnegie

Jonah Holmes – Yorkshire Carnegie

 

 

Nine Feet Tall Personal Development Programme Award

Winner: Rob Hawkins – Newcastle Falcons

Tom Court – London Irish

James Hudson – Gloucester Rugby

Richard Thorpe – London Welsh

 

The Restart Rugby Special Merit Award

Charlie Hodgson

 

RPA Blyth Spirit Award in association with Towergate Insurance

Henry Fraser

 

The RPA Hall of Fame Induction in association with KPMG

Brian O’Driscoll