Ahead of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final between Bath and Saracens this weekend, we take a look at some of the best performers throughout the league this season.
15 – Alex Goode.
If Mike Brown had of avoided injury while on international duty then surely he would have earned the award, but Saracens Alex Goode has had a fantastic season. Dropped from international duty, Goode has displayed consistent performances for his club all season with clever runs, delicate handling, accurate kicking and a dangerous counter attacking ability has seen Goode become one of the most dangerous full backs in the Premiership.
14 – Alex Lewington.
The London Irish man has been a shining light in what has a been a poor season for his team. Lewington has combined blistering pace off the mark with raw power to make him one of the most dangerous wingers in this year’s premiership which has caught the eye of England coach Stuart Lancaster.
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13 – Elliott Daly.
The Wasps man beats England star Jonathan Joseph to the pole as he has played all 22 games for Wasp’s this season in the Premiership, Daly’s blistering pace and fine hands have seen the young centre start an attack from almost anywhere on the field, combined with powerful defence and a cannon of a boot have seen Daly included in the England squad for the world cup but a starting shirt may be too soon for the Wasp’s but a spot on the bench is a strong possibility.
12 – Henry Slade.
Slade has played mainly at ten this season with a few appearances at 13 but he has been too good to not put in this team. Slade has been influential for Exeter with any number on his shirt, his ability to read the game has seen the young utility back almost lead his team to the Premiership finals this year but they just missed out. With his expansive passing ability combined with an eye for a gap and an accurate kick, Slade has a bright future for both club and country.
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11 – Sinoti Sinoti
So good they named him twice! What a signing this player has been for the Newcastle Falcons, the Samoan tops almost all the attacking stats for this season which has earned him a call up to the Samoan national squad. Sinoti has the mind set to run rather than kick from any position on the field, with the ability to beat the first defender almost every time he receives the ball combined with blistering pace and a sharp step has seen the Falcons winger become the most dangerous attacking threat in the premiership.
10 – George Ford.
The young fly-half has took massive steps in his rugby career since leaving Leicester, consistent game time has allowed Ford to become one of the best all round fly half in the northern hemisphere. Small in stature, Ford isn’t shy to attack the line of any team he comes up against with his sharp distribution game or impressive running has made him the most attacking ten in England. Combined with his accurate kicking and strong defence, Ford has a bright future for both club and country.
9 – Joe Simpson.
After the season this man has had, many are calling for the Wasp’s flyer to start for England come this year’s World Cup. His direct passing and intelligent kicking has allowed the Wasps attack to get the front foot, but his lightning speed alongside his eye for a gap has won Simpson the try of the year award for his effort against Exeter chiefs.
8 – Thomas Waldrom.
Surprising not to see the Exeter back row not included in the England squad for the world cup considering he has racked up 16 tries this campaign. The South African born number eight has had a thrilling year since making the move from Leicester Tigers, his powerful runs from the base of the scrum or in the loose has seen Waldrom come second in the stats for metres made as well as scoring more tries than all the English wingers in the league. The best signing from any premiership team this season by far.
7 – Francois Louw.
Even with a neck injury that hampered his season, the South African flanker has been brilliant for Bath. Probably one of the best all round flankers in the world, Louw is strong over the ball winning his team countless penalties as well as his dangerous running and brick wall defence makes teams think twice when planning tactics against Bath.
6 – Mark Wilson.
Some may be surprised to see two Newcastle falcons players in this team considering they finished second bottom this year, but Wilson has been outstanding. The Cumbrian born back rower just goes nonstop for the entire 80 minute with powerful runs, strong breakdown contests and solid defence. Many have called for Wilson to be included in the world cup squad but this looks highly unlikely unless a move is made to a better club.
5 – Dean Mumm.
The Australian has been so influential since arriving from the Waratahs, his experience has been key to the rise of Exeter who almost clinched a top four finish in the premiership. No matter where he plays if that be in the second row or back row, Mumm consistently delivers high level displays for the Cornish outfit. His line-out work has been second to none and time after time has set up a clean attack for Exeter, alongside his high work rate in both attack and defence the Australian is going to be a miss for this side.
4 – Samu Manoa.
What a miss this man is going to be when he leaves come end of the season, the American has been central to everything for Northampton this season. His powerful runs have opened up teams all seasons and his bone shattering defence has stopped momentum from any attacking threat. Manoa will be a big miss come next season when he is playing for Toulon.
3 – Tomas Francais.
A real hard working prop, Francais has slowly climbed the ladder of professional rugby and is now a wanted man on the international stage from both Wales and England. The Exeter man has had a brilliant season with strong scrummaging displays and keeping his down with the hard work which nobody sees, a bright future for Francais.
2 – Jamie George.
Normally when you lose a player like Schalk Brits for most of the season then you wouldn’t be too happy, but when you have Jamie George to step in then you most certainly have a good replacement. Throughout the season George has really put his hand up for a place in the England squad with his displays this season, his strong scrummaging and accurate line-out throwing alongside his surprising speed and work in the loose have made him one of the best hookers in the premiership this season.
1 – Mako Vunipola.
The 2013 Lions loose head shown over the course of the season that he is ready to start for England, more known for his work in the loose rather than his scrummaging ability Vunipola has evidently worked on his set piece where he is now a dominant scrummager. With ball in hand he is still a serious weapon and in defence he takes no backward steps. If the Saracens man can continue to develop as he has this season then a starting berth for England is not too far away.
Would you have selected anyone different? Let us know below!