Genge and Millar-Mills win Premiership awards

Leicester and England prop Ellis Genge has been named Premiership Rugby's Discovery of the Season.

Genge, 22, made his England debut in May 2016 and has been in fine form for Tigers this season.

He is part of the England squad that takes on Argentina twice in June.

Red Roses star Harriet Millar-Mills was named Women’s Premiership Players’ Player of the Year for the second season.

Millar-Mills was part of the England side that lifted the Grand Slam earlier this year.

Jimmy Gopperth completed an incredible hat-trick of rugby awards as he was named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season.

The Wasps star had already won his club’s Player of the Season title before lifting the Rugby Players’ Association gong ahead of Premiership Rugby’s annual ceremony at the Lancaster London Hotel.

Gopperth played in 21 of Wasps’ 22 Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this season as they climbed to first place in the League helped by his 266 points which included nine tries, and his Director of Rugby Dai Young led the praise for the versatile Kiwi.

“It’s difficult to put into words just how valuable Jimmy has been for our squad, both on and off the pitch," said Young.

"We all know he is a quality fly-half, but his ability to play 10, 12, 13 and even a couple of games at full-back for us this season has really helped the side."

The Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season wasn’t the only award Gopperth picked up the star-studded Awards Ceremony as his sensational score against Northampton Saints in Round Four was selected as the Try of the Season.

Started deep in Wasps’ own territory by Joe Simpson, Danny Cipriani and Guy Thompson, Gopperth motored home from halfway. It prompted BT Sport commentator Nick Mullins to say: “This is a work of art…hang that in the Portrait Gallery… it was beautiful.”

And Gopperth was not done there as his season haul of 221 points with the boot saw him secure a hat-trick of awards on the night as he picked up the Gilbert Golden Boot Award.

It was a season of high-scoring in Aviva Premiership Rugby, the total of 6,282 points scored having been bettered just once since 2000-01, when 6,332 were scored in 2014-15. That total ensured that there were four players who scored more than 150 points with the boot - Gopperth, Stephen Myler, Freddie Burns and Gareth Steenson.

Gopperth’s try against the Saints was one of 89 (a new League record) scored by Wasps this season, 17 of which came from the hands of Christian Wade, a tally that earned the wing the Top Try-Scorer Award. Wade equalled a 20-year League record held by Richmond’s Dominic Chapman, and moved fifth in the all-time list as he sits on 69 for his career thus far.

Wasps weren’t done with those awards on an unforgettable night as first place in Aviva Premiership Rugby and a home semi-final against Leicester Tigers on Saturday earned Dai Young the title of Director of Rugby of the Season.

Another club on the winners’ board at the Lancaster London was Exeter Chiefs who saw Sam Simmonds named Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Player of the Tournament.

Worcester Warriors’ full-back Chris Pennell is well-known for his exploits on the pitch but it was his commitment off the field that earned him the plaudits at the ceremony as he was named Aviva Community Player of the Season.


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