Ospreys scrum half Rhys Webb won the Players’ Player of the Season award and his Edinburgh counterpart Sam Hidalgo-Clyne was selected as the Young Player of the Season at the GUINNESS PRO12 Awards evening in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin tonight.
Rhys Webb had already been named in the GUINNESS PRO12 Dream Team for the season last week and scooped the Players’ Player of the Season award ‘in absentia’ for his outstanding contribution to the Ospreys’ season. Rhys returned home to his new baby boy Jesse, born last Friday, after yesterday’s win at Connacht.
Voted for by the 12 Guinness PRO12 team captains and vice-captains, the Ospreys scrum half beat Craig Gilroy and CJ Stander to the title in an incredibly tight vote.
Webb follows in the footsteps of Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Ruan Piennar (Ulster), Tim Visser (Edinburgh), Nick Williams (Ulster) and Rhys’ half-back partner Dan Biggar (Ospreys) in picking up the prestigious award.
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne picked up the Young ‘Player of the Season honour after not only breaking into and starting in the Edinburgh side, but also into the Scottish national team.
He follows in the footsteps of Tim Visser (Edinburgh), Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), Luke Marshall (Ulster) and Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) as the Young Player of the Season.
Gregor Townsend won the Coach of the Season award after steering Glasgow Warriors to a table-topping finish place in the league and a place in the play-offs once again. His side put together 16 wins during the campaign and played a very attractive brand of rugby as they finished top of the pile to secure a home semi-final against Ulster at Scotstoun Stadium next Friday evening.
Glasgow Warriors captain Alastair Kellock received the Chairman’s award in recognition of his outstanding service to the development of Glasgow & Scottish rugby, his performances and service to his country, the league as a whole and the game of rugby union.
Ulster’s flying winger Craig Gilroy won the Sky Sports Try of the Season, polling over 60% of the public vote, with his great score against the Scarlets. Munster’s Jack O’Donoghue was runner-up with his excellent try versus Cardiff Blues.
Glasgow Warriors also took home another award as they took over from Ospreys as winners of the Rhino Collision Kings title after a panel of experts assessed their efficiency at the breakdown and tackling.
Leinster’s Ian Madigan scooped the Rhino Golden Boot award with a success rate of 87.04% (47 kicks out of 54) with Dan Biggar of the Ospreys coming a close second with 86.96% (60 kicks out of 69).
It was a good night for Connacht as they won a £10,000 cheque to put towards youth development after claiming the SpecSavers Fair Play award for having the fewest yellow and red cards and citings over the 22 games.
The GUINNESS PRO12 Dream Team for 2014/15, selected by an independent media panel, chaired by Rory Sheridan, Head of Sponsorship – Western Europe, Diageo:
15: Liam Williams (Scarlets); 14: Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), 13: Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), 12: Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), 11: Craig Gilroy (Ulster); 10: Dan Biggar (Ospreys), 9: Rhys Webb (Ospreys); 1: Denis Buckley (Connacht), 2: Rory Best (Ulster), 3: WP Nel (Edinburgh), 4: Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (capt), 5: Franco van der Merwe (Ulster), 6: C J Stander (Munster), 7: Tommy O’Donnell (Munster), 8: Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors)
2014/15 GUINNESS PRO12 AWARD WINNERS:
PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE SEASON – Rhys Webb (Ospreys)
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE SEASON – Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh)
COACH OF THE SEASON – Gregor Townsend (Glasgow Warriors)
CHAIRMAN’S AWARD – Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors)
SKY SPORTS TRY OF THE SEASON – Craig Gilroy (Ulster)
RHINO GOLDEN BOOT – Ian Madigan (Leinster)
RHINO COLLISION KINGS – Glasgow Warriors
SPECSAVERS FAIRPLAY AWARD – Connacht