Pair on short­list Cipri­ani, Thor­ley are nom­i­nated

Gloucestershire Echo - - RUGBY UNION - By ROBERT ILES

DANNY Cipri­ani has been nom­i­nated for the RPA Players’ Player of the Year 2019. His team-mate Ol­lie Thor­ley has also been nom­i­nated for Young Player of the Year with both be­ing key fig­ures in a Glouces­ter side that has reached the Premier­ship play-offs for the first time in eight years.

Cipri­ani en­joyed an out­stand­ing first sea­son at Glouces­ter and is one of five men on the short­list for the top award, which is voted for by the players.

The only other English­man on the list is cen­tre Henry Slade, who is joined by Exeter Chiefs team-mate Santiago Cordero, with a pair of South African scrumhalve­s in Sale’s Faf de Klerk and Northamp­ton’s Cobus Reinach com­plet­ing the list.

“This is a big hon­our to be recog­nised in this way,” said Cipri­ani.

“I have en­joyed my first sea­son with Glouces­ter and I am ex­cited and mo­ti­vated by what lies ahead. Thank you to my fel­low players for the con­tin­ued sup­port.”

Cipri­ani was watched by Eddie Jones at Worces­ter on Sun­day but the fly-half has been over­looked for in­ter­na­tional hon­ours this sea­son.

Thor­ley has scored six tries in 15 ap­pear­ances this sea­son with his form earn­ing him a first se­nior Eng­land callup ahead of the Six Na­tions.

The 22-year-old is up against Bath and Eng­land wing Joe Cokanasiga, back row­ers Tom Curry and Alex Dom­brandt and Northamp­ton cen­tre Rory Hutchin­son.

“It’s an ab­so­lute hon­our to be nom­i­nated for the RPA Young Player of the Year award,” said Thor­ley.

“There are so many amaz­ing young players com­ing through the com­pe­ti­tion cur­rently and long may that con­tinue. I’m en­joy­ing ev­ery sin­gle mo­ment of it.”

The RPA Players’ Awards will take place on Wed­nes­day, May 8 at Twick­en­ham.

Mean­while, Ben Mor­gan has won Glouces­ter’s Players’ Player of the Year award.

The club held their end of sea­son din­ner at Chel­tenham Race­course with the num­ber eight com­ing away with the top hon­our.

Mor­gan, in­set, has pro­duced con­sis­tently out­stand­ing per­for­mances in a cam­paign that has seen the Cherry and Whites al­ready as­sured of a play-off place with two games of the reg­u­lar sea­son re­main­ing.

The 30-year-old earned a re­call to the Eng­land squad ahead of the au­tumn in­ter­na­tion­als but picked up an injury in train­ing and did not fea­ture in any of the games.

Cipri­ani was an­other win­ner on the night, pick­ing up the Back of the year award with Fraser Bal­main named For­ward of the Year, both picked by the Glouces­ter coach­ing team.

The Glouces­ter’s Supporters’ Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year will be re­vealed after their fi­nal home game of the sea­son against New­cas­tle on Satur­day.

The awards even­ing also recog­nised staff mem­bers be­hind the scenes and the women’s and wheel­chair rugby branches of the club.

Out­stand­ing achieve­ment award He­len Roe for work on the club re­brand.

Glouces­ter-hart­pury Player of the Sea­son - Mil­lie Wood.

Glouces­ter Ti­tans Wheel­chair Rugby Player of the Sea­son - Brad Hedges

Glouces­ter Com­mu­nity Depart­ment Player of the Sea­son - Aaron Hink­ley For­ward of the Year - Fraser Bal­main Back of the Year - Danny Cipri­ani Try of the Sea­son - Ol­lie Thor­ley v Le­ices­ter Chair­man’s Award - Alex Brown Players’ Player - Ben Mor­gan.

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