Kiwi sweeps the boards in Premiership

Thu, 18 May 2017 08:27
Large jimmy gopperth premiership awards 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Wasps' veteran New Zealand flyhalf Jimmy Gopperth completed his domination of the Premiership by being named Player of the Season.

The 33-year-old, who also played for Newcastle and Irish province Leinster during his eight-year European sojourn, added this to his awards from Wasps and the Rugby Players Association.

For good measure, Gopperth also won the Premiership Golden Boot for his 221 points with the boot and the try of the season at the awards dinner in London.

Gopperth, never capped by the All Blacks at senior level, still has work to do on the pitch.

Wasps finished top of the table at the end of the regular season and now want to round it off by taking the Premiership title.

They face Leicester Tigers in a tough semifinal on Saturday with champions Saracens or last year's beaten finalists Exeter awaiting them in the final if they emerge victorious from the last-four clash.

"It's difficult to put into words just how valuable Jimmy has been for our squad, both on and off the pitch," said Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young.

"We all know he is a quality flyhalf, but his ability to play No.10, No.12, No.13 and even a couple of games at fullback for us this season has really helped the side.

"Jimmy always puts the team before himself and he's always played at a very high standard in every position he's played.

"He's a real club man and a quality player who deserves all the accolades he's got this season. He's also one of the most modest guys you could meet, really hard-working and a real leader around the camp."

Young picked up Director of the Year award, whilst Christian Wade won the try scorer of the season for his haul of 17.

Leicester's Ellis Genge won Discovery of the Season and Exeter's Sam Simmonds the Premiership 7s player of the tournament.

To round off the awards 15 players from six different clubs were named in the Dream Team, with Saracens the best represented with five stars named.

Dream Team:
15 Telusa Veainu – Leicester Tigers
14 Christian Wade - Wasps
13 Elliot Daly - Wasps
12 Brad Barritt – Saracens (captain)
11 Olly Woodburn – Exeter Chiefs
10 Jimmy Gopperth - Wasps
9 Richard Wigglesworth - Saracens
8 Louis Picamoles – Northampton Saints
7 Jackson Wray - Saracens
6 Don Armand – Exeter Chiefs
5 Courtney Lawes – Northampton Saints
4 Joe Launchbury - Wasps
3 Kyle Sinckler - Harlequins
2 Jamie George - Saracens
1 Mako Vunipola - Saracens

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
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Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
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Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 22 17 1 4 84
Exeter Chiefs 22 15 3 4 84
Saracens 22 16 1 5 77
Leicester Tigers 22 14 0 8 66
Bath 22 12 0 10 59
Harlequins 22 11 0 11 52
Northampton Saints 22 10 0 12 52
Newcastle Falcons 22 10 0 12 49
Gloucester 22 7 2 13 46
Sale Sharks 22 7 1 14 40
Worcester Warriors 22 5 2 15 33
Bristol 22 3 0 19 20