These are the only awards that span the entire globe, taking in the season from September to May. We reveal our winners…
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
He may have come up just short of a Grand Slam in his first full season as a Test player, but Chris Ashton still enjoyed a stellar campaign. His England season started with an unforgettable 80-metre try against Australia and he then touched down twice against Wales and scored an incredible four times against Italy as England won the Six Nations. And then there’s his ten tries in 11 Aviva Premiership matches. The lad has been on fire in 2010-11.
RUNNERS-UP: Sean O’Brien, Tom Palmer and Sonny Bill Williams
TEAM OF THE YEAR
THE Surrey side graduated from their club’s youth section with a remarkable record – eight straight seasons in which they didn’t lose a game on English soil. Most of the squad started together as minis.
RUNNERS-UP: Bideford, Heathfield
COACH OF THE YEAR
WE ALL thought we knew what would happen this season – Exeter would be relegated. Well, Chiefs coach Rob Baxter had other ideas, pulling together a side of unsung heroes and driving them to ten wins and eighth place.
RUNNERS-UP: Joe Schmidt, Graham Henry and Jim Mallinder
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR
THE toughest decision of all, the flanker edging out Richie Gray after being named Wales captain for the Baa-Baas game.
RUNNERS-UP: Gray, Courtney Lawes
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT OF THE YEAR
MANY stories touched our hearts, but none more so than the Crusaders’ response to the Christchurch earthquake. They showed remarkable resilience in the face of adversity.
RUNNERS-UP: Italy for beating France
This article appeared in the July 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine.
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