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England pair Wood and Ashton up for top award

27 April 2011

  • Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards nominations announced
  • Eight of the ten named for top two prizes English qualified
England and Saints pair Tom Wood and Chris Ashton both up for top prize

Photo: Getty Images

This season’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards nominations have a very English feel about them, with eight of the ten players nominated for the top two awards English Qualified.

Across the league, 67.5% of Premiership players are EQ, with Harlequins leading the way with 76.8%. Seven of the ten nominated have also represented England at some level.

Northampton Saints and England Seniors pair Chris Ashton and Tom Wood have been shortlisted for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season, alongside South Africa pair, Saracens hooker Schalk Brits and Saints prop Brian Mujati.

Leicester Tigers No. 8 Thomas Waldron is the other player listed, as 6 Nations winner Ashton looks to claim the award for the second year in a row.

The nominations for the Land Rover Discovery of the Season, an award currently held by Ben Youngs, is an all English affair, highlighting the success of the English academy structure and pointing to a bright future.

Quintet of English players up for Discovery award

England U20 and Saracens fly half Owen Farrell

Photo: Getty Images

Saracens and England Under 20 Grand Slam winner Owen Farrell is listed alongside England Saxons pair, Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi and Sale Sharks lock James Gaskell.

Gloucester wing Charlie Sharples and Harlequins centre George Lowe are the other two players nominated, both of whom represented England U20 at the 2009 Junior World Championships in Japan.

Award nominees Chris Ashton, Schalk Brits and Manu Tuilagi are also nominated for the MBNA Try of the Season award.

They are joined by Gloucester Rugby duo Andrew Hazell and Lesley Vainikolo, both for efforts scored against Leicester Tigers; Hazell for his try at Welford Road and Vainikolo for his in the first match between the two at Kingsholm in October.

Finally, three back row forwards will compete for the Gatorade Performance of the Season award, with nominations for Leeds Carnegie’s England international Hendre Fourie, Exeter Chiefs’ Tom Johnson and Bath Rugby’s Springbok star Luke Watson.