Bok centre crowned the best in England
NEWS: Andre Esterhuizen has received the most prestigious award in the English game.
The Springbok centre won the Rugby Players Association (RPA) Players’ Player of the Year award.
The Harlequins star polled the greatest number of votes from his fellow professionals to claim the award capping off a fantastic year for the South African.
The eight-time capped Springbok has been instrumental for Harlequins, winning three back-to-back Man of the Match Awards back in January, and was awarded January’s Player of the Month in the Premiership.
He has been in electrifying form, making an incredible 1 703 metres for the South-West London side, beating 60 defenders, and scoring eight tries. He has also been a hugely disruptive influence in the Quins defensive line, stealing the ball 14 times from the breakdown.
On winning the award Esterhuizen said: “It’s an incredible honour to win this award and for it to be voted by all the players and teams that I’ve played with and against makes it even more special. It is something that I am extremely proud of. Thank you to all of my family and teammates for their support.”
— The RPA (@theRPA) May 25, 2022
Meanwhile, Freddie Steward took the title of the Young Player of the Year. Steward has been a key cog to Steve Borthwick’s Leicester side in securing top spot and a home semifinal in this season’s Premiership. He beat Marcus Smith, Bevan Rodd, and Henry Arundell to secure this title.
Capping off an incredible awards night, Steward also took home the England Men’s Player of the Year. This award was voted for by members of the Elite Players Squad and beat Ellis Genge and Marcus Smith for this Award.
Steward said: “Thank you to everyone who voted. It is a big honour to win an award voted on by your peers and I feel humbled to win given the talent in the game. I would like to acknowledge my teammates at Leicester Tigers, who I wouldn’t be able to have done what I have without.”
Other notable winners on the night included Marlie Packer as England Women’s Player of the Year, topping off a fantastic year for the Red Roses.
Harlequins scrumhalf Danny Care was awarded the RPA Special Merit Award in association with Walter Cooper.