JASPER WIESE HAS BEEN CROWNED THE ETERLAST PLAYERS' PLAYER OF THE YEAR AT THIS YEAR'S ETERLAST RPA AWARDS 2023.
The Leicester Tigers number eight polled the greatest number of votes from his fellow professionals to claim the most prestigious award in the English game, capping off a fantastic year for the South African.
The eight-time capped Springbok has been a key cog for the reigning Premiership Rugby champions, featuring fourteen times in the league, and scoring six tries. He also made 130 tackles, 11 offloads and 218 carries, the fourth highest in the competition. Up against some other incredible talent including Mateo Carreras, Ben Earl, Alex Mitchell and Tom Pearson, Wiese’s stellar season shows just why he deserves this illustrious award.
On winning the award Wiese said: “It’s very humbling to be named the winner of such a prestigious and special award. I’d like to thank the players from around the competition for voting for me, and I just want to thank my Leicester teammates for their support too.”
Meanwhile, London Irish’s Tom Pearson took this year’s Young Player of the Year award. Pearson had a hugely influential season, helping Irish finish fifth in the table. The flanker has won 21 turnovers, and made 235 tackles, the second highest in the league. He beat off Matteo Carreras, Fin Smith and Gus Warr to take the title.
Pearson said: “I am honoured to win the year’s Young Player Award, especially getting voted by other players across the Premiership, it means a lot so thank you.”
Over in the international circuit, for a second year running, Freddie Steward won the England Men’s Player of the Year Award, in association with Advanta Wealth. Meanwhile, last year’s Premier15s winner Sadia Kabeya took the award for England Women’s Player of the Year Award after an incredible Six Nations display. Both these awards were voted for by members of the Elite Players Squads.
Other notable winners on the night included Natasha Hunt being named the Premier 15’s Player of the Year, and Dan Cole, Owen Farrell and Emily Scarratt all being awarded the RPA Special Merit Award in association with Infinity Sports Travel, for the outstanding achievement of reaching 100 appearances for their country.
Speaking about the winners on the night, RPA General Secretary Christian Day said: “A huge congratulations to all the winners at this year’s Eterlast RPA Awards. To be voted for by your peers, and particularly those that you play against, remains the greatest accolade for any rugby player and all our winners have had outstanding seasons, so they should be hugely proud of their achievements.”