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Henry Slade named Gallagher Premiership Player of the Year

Exeter Chiefs and England star Henry Slade has been named Gallagher Premiership Player of the Year.

The centre beat Bath fly-half Finn Russell and Northampton Saints pair Courtney Lawes and Fin Smith to the award.

Commenting on the award, Slade said: “I’m pretty speechless. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be up for it in the first place, let alone win it. Especially with the calibre of the guys I was up against.”

He added: “The league this season has been a great advert for the game of rugby and I was really pleased to be nominated in the first place. This is really special – I don’t win these sort of awards. I’m really happy.”

Slade was also named the Premiership’s top points scorer this season, with 152 points overall.

Breakthrough Player of the Year-Immanuel Feyi-Waboso

Gallagher Premiership Breakthrough Player of the Year Immanuel Feyi-Waboso-Credit: IMAGO

Gallagher Premiership Breakthrough Player of the Year Immanuel Feyi-Waboso-Credit: IMAGO

Slade’s Exeter and England teammate Immanuel Feyi-Waboso was named Breakthrough Player of the Season. The current Exeter University student only made his Premiership debut this season, but he has quickly become one of the best wingers in the league.

“My aim this year was to break into the Exeter University BUCS team, so this is amazing,” said Feyi-Waboso.

“Getting into the Exeter Chiefs first team seemed a bit in the distance but I have just been excited to take on each new step and tried to do what got me there.

“I’ve just tried to keep doing what I’m doing and listened to the advice from the coaches telling me what I need to do to get better.”

His form for Exeter also saw him make his England debut during the Six Nations.

Director of Rugby of the Season-Phil Dowson

Director of Rugby of the Year Phil Dowson-Credit: IMAGO

Director of Rugby of the Year Phil Dowson-Credit: IMAGO

Elsewhere, Northampton Saints boss Phil Dowson was named Director of Rugby of the Season.

Dowson’s side won 12 of their 18 games in the Premiership this season, as they romped to the summit. They also scored the most points in the Premiership (555) on their road to the play-offs.

He also fended off strong competition from Alex Sanderson, Mark McCall and Johann van Graan to the award.

Other awards

In the nights other awards, Ollie Sleightholme was named Top Try Scorer after notching 14 scores in just 12 appearances this season. Tyrone Green also won Try of the Season for his effort against Newcastle Falcons. Saracens and Scotland international Andy Christie rounded off the awards, as he scooped up Community Player of the Season.