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Cipriani named Premiership player of the season

The fly-half has helped take Gloucester into the play-offs.

Danny Cipriani has been named Premiership player of the season (Mike Egerton/PA)
Danny Cipriani has been named Premiership player of the season (Mike Egerton/PA)

Danny Cipriani has continued an outstanding debut year at Gloucester by being named Gallagher Premiership player of the season.

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Cipriani becomes only the second individual after former Wasps team-mate Jimmy Gopperth to scoop the award in the same year as being recognised as Rugby Players’ Association player of the year.

The 31-year-old fly-half has masterminded Gloucester’s march into the play-offs and they face Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday in their first appearance in the semi-finals since 2011.

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Danny Cipriani has been praised by Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I’m so proud of him – it’s always a big thing when a player joins a club and there’s a bit of pressure on you to perform,” Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann said.

“I can only speak highly of Danny’s commitment to the team. He’s set up into the culture and he’s open. We have a good relationship where we’re open with each other and of course he’s made a serious impact on the field.

“He’s probably got the best skill I’ve seen from a fly-half from an attacking point of view, he can kick well and he’s extremely fast. He knows what he wants in attack and his distribution is top class.”

For all his dazzling form and assured game management in a season marred by injury, a three-week ban for a high tackle and a fine incurred for a nightclub incident, Cipriani has been unable to reclaim his England place.

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Sale’s Tom Curry has been named young player of the season (Adam Davy/PA)

In winning both awards, Eddie Jones will face renewed calls to explain why Cipriani has been frozen out in favour of Owen Farrell and George Ford.

Cipriani was celebrated at a gala dinner in central London after being picked by members of the media, coming out top in a shortlist that also featured Exeter’s Henry Slade and Santiago Cordero, Sale scrum-half Faf de Klerk and Northampton half-back Cobus Reinach.

Saracens’ Mark McCall was named director of rugby for the season after the north London club won their third European title after defeating Leinster in the final of the Champions Cup and finished the regular Premiership season in second.

The young player of the year award was secured by Sale’s 20-year-old England openside Tom Curry.

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