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Wood named player of the season


Tom Wood

Tom Wood

Tom Wood

Northampton's England flanker Tom Wood was named Player of the Season at the Aviva Premiership awards in London on Tuesday night.

Wood beat Northampton team-mate Brian Mujati into second place with Saracens hooker Schalk Burger third.

It was a successful evening all round for Northampton, with boss Jim Mallinder beating Saracens' Mark McCall and Exeter's Rob Baxter to be named QBE Director of Rugby of the Year.

The Land Rover Discovery of the Season award - for players under the age of 21 on the day of the Premiership final - went to Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi, with Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell in second place.

The MBNA Try of the Season was awarded to Schalk Brits for his effort against Gloucester while his Saracens team-mate Hayden Smith was presented with the Aviva Community Player of the Season award.

Exeter's successful debut season in the Premiership was rewarded with lock Tom Hayes named captain of the ESPN Dream Team, selected by former England internationals Austin Healey and Ben Kay.

Hayes' Chiefs team-mate Tom Johnson won the Gatorade Performance of the Season Award for his role in Exeter's victory over Sale Sharks in November.

Newcastle fly-half Jimmy Gopperth collected the Gilbert Golden Boot award for the second year running for his personal tally of 230 points, with 215 of those coming from the boot at a success rate of over 80%.

Leicester wing Alesana Tuilagi joined his brother on the rostrum after being named as the Guinness Top Try Scorer of the Season with 12 tries while Saracens scrum-half Kevin Barrett was named the inaugural J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series Player of the Season.

:: ESPN Dream Team: M Brown (Harlequins); D Strettle (Saracens), M Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), A Allen (Leicester Tigers), C Ashton (Northampton Saints); J Gopperth (Newcastle Falcons), D Care (Harlequins); S Tonga'uiha (Northampton Saints), S Brits (Saracens), B Mujati (Northampton Saints), C Lawes (Northampton Saints), T Hayes (Exeter Chiefs, capt), T Wood (Northampton Saints), J Burger (Saracens), T Waldrom (Leicester Tigers).

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