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LV= Young Player of the Year Nominees 2015

May 5th, 2015

The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) today confirmed the nominees for the LV= Young Player of the Year Award 2015 as voted for by Aviva Premiership players based on performances in domestic rugby this season.

To qualify for the LV= Young Player of the Year Award players must have been 23 or under as of 1st September 2014.

The winner will be announced in front of a host of stars from the world of rugby at The RPA Players’ Awards 2015, to be held at Battersea Evolution, London on Wednesday 13th May.

The first of our nominees is Bath and England fly-half, George Ford. The 22-year-old has enjoyed an outstanding season so far and has played an integral part in Bath’s run to the Aviva Premiership play-off places and has already amassed 163 points for the season so far.

The second player nominated is Saracen’s rising star Maro Itoje. Having captained Sarries to victory in the LV= Cup and England U20’s to an IRB Junior World Championship the powerful second row has made a big impression during his breakthrough season.

Bath Rugby centre Jonathan Joseph is this year’s third nominee. With 7 tries in 14 matches Joseph has become an important part of the West-Country clubs potent attack. The 23-year-olds fine form was rewarded with a recall to the England squad for the 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championship.

The penultimate nominee is Exeter Chiefs’ back Henry Slade. Predominantly used in the number ten role Slade has developed into one of the most promising talents in English rugby. Currently 7th in the top ten point’s scorers for the season Slade has been central to the Chiefs rise up the Aviva Premiership table.

Anthony Watson is this year’s final nominee. The 21-year-old full-back come winger forms part of one of the most formidable back lines in the Aviva Premiership. His dazzling feet have caused problems for defences at both domestic and international level.

The nominations in full are:

LV= YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR

George Ford – Bath Rugby

Maro Itoje – Saracens

Jonathan Joseph – Bath Rugby

Henry Slade – Exeter Chiefs

Anthony Watson – Bath Rugby

Quotes from the LV= Young Player of the Year 2015 nominees:

George Ford, fly-half for Bath Rugby, said: “Winning this award last year gave me an incredible amount of confidence heading into the 2014/15 season and to be nominated again is a fantastic feeling. I’ve been lucky this season to have played in a very determined Bath squad, where we’ve played a really solid style of rugby and one which suits my game perfectly.”

Second row for Saracens, Maro Itoje, said: “I’m extremely honoured to be nominated for this award, an award which recognises the best young talent in one of the best domestic rugby leagues in the world. The Aviva Premiership is such a strong and exciting competition and to be nominated out of so many rising stars, will no doubt push me to want to achieve even more.”

Jonathan Joseph, centre for Bath Rugby, said: “I’m very flattered to be nominated for the Young Player of the Year Award, especially given how many talented young players are in the Aviva Premiership. As always I would like to thank all the people who support me and push me to achieve my best, they include my family, close friends, teammates and coaches.”

Henry Slade, Exeter Chiefs’ back, said: “We’ve had a brilliant season so far at Exeter, the club’s taken a tremendous step forward in terms of performing consistently each week and I feel very fortunate to be nominated for this award on their behalf. On top of that, to be recognised by your peers in such a competitive environment, really gives me a massive boost.”

Bath Rugby wing, Anthony Watson, said: “Obviously I’m absolutely delighted to have been nominated for this award by my peers. However a lot of credit has to go my coaches and team-mates for allowing me to perform this year and express my true ability. The coaches have given me a lot of time throughout the season and their advice has given me so much confidence to perform at my absolute best.”

Previous winners of the LV= Young Player of the Year are:

2014: George Ford – Bath

2013: Christian Wade – Wasps

2012: Owen Farrell – Saracens

2011: Manu Tuilagi – Leicester Tigers

2010: Ben Youngs – Leicester Tigers

2009: Ben Foden – Northampton Saints

2008: Danny Cipriani – London Wasps

2007: David Strettle – NEC Harlequins

2006: Tom Varndell – Leicester Tigers

2005: Harry Ellis – Leicester Tigers

2004: Olly Barkley – Bath Rugby

2003: James Forrester – Gloucester Rugby

2002: Charlie Hodgson – Sale Sharks

2001: Steve Borthwick – Bath Rugby

2000: Iain Balshaw – Bath Rugby

1999: Jonny Wilkinson – Newcastle Falcons