Tom Wood Wins Player of the Season Award

Northampton Saints’ Tom Wood was named Aviva Player of the Season at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards.

24 year old Wood made his competitive debut for Saints in their win over local rivals Leicester Tigers on the opening day of the Aviva Premiership Rugby season and from that moment never looked back. 13 further appearances for Northampton followed as well as an England debut in the first Six Nations match of the season against Wales at the Millennium Stadium, further testament to his stellar early season form for the Saints.

The Land Rover Discovery of the Season award, presented to the best player aged 21 years or under on the day of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final, was awarded to Leicester Tigers’ centre Manu Tuilagi.

Tuilagi is the latest of the brothers to play for the reigning Premiership Rugby champions and was another to make his debut in the opening day clash between Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints after successfully graduating from Leicester’s academy.

The final major award, the QBE Director of Rugby of the Season, was presented to Northampton Saints’ Jim Mallinder. Northampton Saints go into May with a chance of claiming a domestic and European double, with an Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final against Leicester Tigers this weekend to be followed by the Heineken Cup Final against Leinster.

The winners and nominees in full were as follows:

Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season

Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Winner
Brian Mujati (Northampton Saints), second placed
Schalk Brits (Saracens), third placed
Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)

Land Rover Discovery of the Season

Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Winner
Owen Farrell (Saracens), second placed
Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), third placed
James Gaskell (Sale Sharks)
George Lowe (Harlequins)

QBE Director of Rugby of the Season

Jim Mallinder (Northampton Saints), Winner
Mark McCall (Saracens), second placed
Rob Baxter (Exeter Chiefs), third placed
Richard Cockerill (Leicester Tigers)
Bryan Redpath (Gloucester Rugby)

MBNA Try of the Season

Schalk Brits (Saracens), Winner
Aviva Premiership Rugby round 21, SARACENS v Gloucester Rugby, Sunday 24th April 2011

Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), second placed
Aviva Premiership Rugby round 17, LEICESTER TIGERS v Saracens, Saturday 5th March 2011

Andrew Hazell (Gloucester Rugby), third placed
Aviva Premiership Rugby round 20, Leicester Tigers v GLOUCESTER RUGBY, Saturday 16th April 2011

Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
Aviva Premiership Rugby round 20, London Irish v NORTHAMPTON SAINTS, Saturday 23rd April 2011

Lesley Vainikolo (Gloucester Rugby)
Aviva Premiership Rugby round 7, GLOUCESTER RUGBY v Leicester Tigers, Saturday 30th October 2010
Aviva Community Player of the Season

Hayden Smith (Saracens), Winner

Also nominated:

Jimmy Gopperth (Newcastle Falcons)
Jonathan Pendlebury (Leeds Carnegie)
Ben Skirving (Bath Rugby)
Roger Wilson (Northampton Saints)

ESPN Dream Team

1, Soane Tonga’uiha (Northampton Saints)
2, Schalk Brits (Saracens)
3, Brian Mujati (Northampton Saints)
4, Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
5, Tom Hayes (Exeter Chiefs) (CAPTAIN)
6, Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
7, Jacques Burger (Saracens)
8, Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
9, Danny Care (Harlequins)
10, Jimmy Gopperth (Newcastle Falcons)
11, Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
12, Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers)
13, Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
14, David Strettle (Saracens)
15, Mike Brown (Harlequins)

Gatorade Performance of the Season

Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)

Guinness Top Try Scorer

Alesana Tuilagi, Leicester Tigers, 12 tries, Winner
Chris Ashton, Northampton Saints, 10 tries
Topsy Ojo, London Irish, 10 tries

Gilbert Golden Boot

Jimmy Gopperth, Newcastle Falcons, 215 points, Winner
Dave Walder, London Wasps, 206 points
Nick Evans, Harlequins, 196 points

J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series Player of the Season

Kevin Barrett, Saracens, Winner

Also nominated:

Josh Fowles (Sale Sharks)
Tyson Lewis (Newcastle Falcons)
Jackson Wray (Saracens)
Chris York (Harlequins)

Do you agree with the nominees and winners?  Share your views with us below.

12 thoughts on “Tom Wood Wins Player of the Season Award

  1. Courtney Lawes would be my player of the year, although i note he was injured for a bit. Simply the best forward in English and European rugby and would make any world 15.

  2. Tom Waldrom is up there for me, as is Anthony Allen actually…

    It’s quite hard to separate Premiership performances from Heineken Cup and Internationals, and I suspect Wood might have benefited here (although I think he’s a very deserving winner).

  3. Ha!
    The reason for that Nick, (other than i dont want to be ranty) is i am holding judgement on him till Glos play sarries.
    if he outplays joubert and leads them to victory, off i will rant.

  4. dont agree with danny care.
    when your backs to the wall, id want the exeter 9, hadyn thomas

  5. I maybe a one-eyed Gloucester fan, but how come there are no Cherries in that Dream Team?
    I’d take Sinbad or Sharples over Strettle any day, and Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu has had a fantastic season at 12.

  6. The awards panel comprised Paul Morgan (Mail on Sunday, Rugby World, Chairman Rugby Union Writers’ Club), Mick Cleary (Daily Telegraph), Alastair Eykyn (BBC), Miles Harrison (Sky Sports), Neale Harvey (Rugby Times), Nick Mullins (ESPN), Phil Winstanley (Rugby Director, Premiership Rugby).
     

  7. ok I’ll accept Mallinder as Director of the season given the Saints performances in the Heineken as well, but how Mcall came above Baxter I do not know. “Well done with the Sarries you’ve achieved exactly what everyone expected you to.”?? Why does that deserve an award?

  8. I wonder what long-term effect the advent of so many overseas players is having on English Rugby? Let’s hope we don’t find life on Mars!!!

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