For the Players
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The RPA Players’ Player of the Year Award 2015 Nominees

May 5th, 2015

The Rugby Players’ Association (The RPA) is delighted to announce the nominees for the RPA Players’ Player of the Year Award 2015, as voted for by Aviva Premiership players based on performances in domestic rugby this season.

This prestigious award recognises the outstanding talent in English rugby union and the winner will be announced at the RPA Players’ Awards 2015, to be held at Battersea Evolution on Wednesday 13th May.

The first of our five nominees is Bath playmaker George Ford. This is the second year in a row that Ford finds himself nominated for both the Players’ Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year Awards. He’s enjoyed a fine season in the blue, white and black and continues to lead Bath’s push for silverware.

Ford’s Bath Rugby team-mate Jonathan Joseph also finds himself nominated for both categories in this year’s event. The dynamic centre has been in blistering form for both club and country during the 2014/15 season and his talents have been duly recognised by his fellow players.

Northampton Saints’ powerhouse, Samu Manoa, is this year’s third nominee. The American born No.8 has been an ever-present in the Saints line-up this season and his eight tries in 19 matches have helped propel the defending champions to the top of the Aviva Premiership.

Newcastle Falcons’ Samoan international Sinoti Sinoti is our penultimate nominee. The flying winger has become a fans favourite at Kingston Park and has been in outstanding form for the North-East club having crossed the whitewash nine times so far this season.

Exeter Chiefs’ Thomas Waldrom completes the list of nominees following a superb debut season in the West-Country. The marauding No.8 has established himself as a key player at Sandy Park and is currently the Aviva Premiership’s top try scorer with 14 to his name.

The RPA Players’ Player of the Year Award 2015 nominees are:

George Ford

Jonathan Joseph

Samu Manoa

Sinoti Sinoti

Thomas Waldrom

Quotes from the RPA Players’ Player of the Year Award 2015 nominees:

Bath Rugby playmaker, George Ford, said: “It’s a tremendous feeling to be nominated for this huge award for the second season in a row, especially as it’s voted by all the players in the Aviva Premiership. This season we’ve been playing some brilliant rugby and I strongly believe if we continue to perform at our best, we can deliver success to the Bath rugby community. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has and continues to support me throughout my career to date.”

Jonathan Joseph, centre for Bath Rugby, said: “Obviously to be nominated for the main award at the RPA Players’ Awards is a terrific personal achievement and I’m overly humbled to even be considered. However it’s my teammates, coaches and family who deserve all the credit. Their support has driven me to push myself to a whole new level this season.”

No.8 for Northampton Saints, Samu Manoa, said: “It’s a great feeling to have the support of the guys who you go into battle with and against each weekend. I’ve worked very hard this season to get myself playing to a consistent level each week and to be rewarded for all that extra work, really means a lot.”

Newcastle Falcons winger, Sinoti Sinoti, said: “It’s always good to be recognised at the highest level for what you’re doing and as a player, to be recognised by fellow rugby players is pretty special. It’s also an honour to be named amongst the shortlist of some of the best players in the league so I’m really grateful for the nomination.”

Thomas Waldrom, No.8 for Exeter Chiefs, said: “I’m extremely surprised and honoured to be nominated for such a prestigious award, and one in which I’m incredibly grateful for the support shown by all my peers. Moving to Exeter this season has been a fantastic journey and I strongly believe the club has the potential to continue to grow and go further than ever before, as we push for our first ever Aviva Premiership title.”

Previous winners of the RPA Players’ Player of the Year Award are:

2014: Vereniki Goneva – Leicester Tigers

2013: Christian Wade – London Wasps

2012: Nick Evans – Harlequins

2011: Thomas Waldrom – Leicester Tigers

2010: Schalk Brits – Saracens

2009: Seilala Mapusua – London Irish

2008: Riki Flutey – London Wasps

2007: Glen Jackson – Saracens

2006: Jason White – Sale Sharks

2005: Martin Corry – Leicester Tigers

2004: Bruce Reihana – Northampton Saints

2003: Jonny Wilkinson – Newcastle Falcons

2002: Jason Robinson – Sale Sharks

2001: Mike Catt – Bath Rugby

2000: Pat Lam – Northampton Saints

1999: Neil Back – Leicester Tigers