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Exeter star bags top Premiership award

NEWS: Henry Slade may have missed out on England’s World Cup squad last year but his performance for Exeter Chiefs has earned him the Premiership Player of the Season.

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The 31-year-old had been nominated alongside Northampton Saints duo Fin Smith and Courtney Lawes, as well as Bath flyhalf Finn Russell.

Despite a seventh-place finish in the league, Exeter had a successful night at the awards as Slade’s teammate Immanuel Feyi-Waboso was also named the Breakthrough Player of the Season.

The 62-cap international regained his place in the national team for the Six Nations.

Slade also finished as the league’s top point scorer. To make his week even better, he signed a new contract at Sandy Park before the Chiefs’ final game of the season.

Feyi-Waboso beat Newcastle Falcons flanker Guy Pepper and Harlequins duo Fin Baxter and Chandler Cunningham-South to the award.

The only player from table-topping Northampton to pick up an award was winger Ollie Sleightholme, who took home the top try scorer award for his 14 tries.

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Saints boss Phil Dowson was crowned the Director of Rugby of the season though in a season where he also took the Saints to the Investec Champions Cup semi-final.

“Henry Slade has had a memorable season from start to finish, after missing out on the Rugby World Cup in France,” said CEO of Premiership Rugby Simon Massie-Taylor.

“He led a young, new-look Exeter Chiefs side to within touching distance of the play-offs.

“Henry is a world-class player and this season has also won a number of games with a clutch kick in the last play – so is a worthy winner of the Gallagher player of the season.

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“Immanuel Feyi-Waboso’s season is a breakthrough in every sense of the word.

“From University and National League Rugby to become one of the Premiership and England’s shining stars in the space of a season is an incredible achievement. I can’t wait to follow his career at Exeter Chiefs.”

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