Armand shortlisted for top award
By Mark Stevens
Exeter star Don Armand will be looking to cap another memorable season in Chiefs colours by being crowned the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season.
The England international is among five top flight stars who will be vying for the honour at Wednesday night’s Premiership Rugby annual awards night in London.
Armand, who picked up the man of the match accolade in last season’s Premiership Final win over Wasps at Twickenham, will battle it out with Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani, Newcastle Falcons winger Vereniki Goneva, Sale scrum-half Faf De Klerk and Northampton Saints’ Jamie Gibson.
The Harare-born forward has been a virtual ever-present in the Premiership for the Devon club this season, amassing over 1,500 game minutes and scoring six tries in the process.
Last week he was on a five-man shortlist, alongside club-mate Sam Simmonds, to be crowned the Rugby Players’ Association Player of the Year. That award went to Leicester Tigers full-back Telusa Vaeianu.
The five talismen will now wait to see who takes the crown from last year’s winner Jimmy Gopperth of Wasps.
The shortlist was compiled by the following panel – Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Sonja McLaughlan (BBC Radio), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), Mick Cleary (Telegraph), Stephen Jones (The Times), Jonny Fordham (The Sun), Dave Rogers (Getty Images) and Chris Jones (BBC Radio), while Paul Morgan (Premiership Rugby’s Communications Director) chaired the panel.
2016-17: Jimmy Gopperth (Wasps)
2015-16: Alex Goode (Saracens)
2014-15: George Ford (Bath Rugby)
2013-14: Mike Brown (Harlequins)
2012-13: Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
2011-12: Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
2010-11: Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
2009-10: Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
2008-09: Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
2007-08: James Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester Rugby)
2006-07: Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers)
2005-06: Mike Catt (London Irish)
2004-05: Martin Corry (Leicester Tigers)