Slade and Cordero on RPA shortlist
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs duo Santiago Cordero and Henry Slade are among a five-man shortlist for this year's RPA Players' Player of the Year Award.
Cordero and Slade have both enjoyed stellar campaigns this year, helping the Chiefs to book a place in the Gallagher Premiership play-offs in record-breaking time.
Argentinian international Cordero has been sensational for the Devon club, producing a plethora of eye-catching displays both in the Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup.He has scored 10 tries in 24 appearances and his efforts were duly rewarded when he was named the Premiership's Player of the Month for March, having appeared on numerous monthly shortlists before that.
Slade, meanwhile, has been equally impressing, producing quality displays both for the Chiefs and for England, both in the Quilter Autumn Internationals, as well as the Guinness Six Nations Championship.
Not only has he established himself as a permanent fixture at outside centre for the Chiefs, but he looks likely to fill the same role for England at this summer's upcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Both players will battle for the accolade alongside Gloucester's Danny Cipriani, Faf De Klerk of Sale Sharks and Cobus Reinach of Northampton Saints.
Commenting on their nominations, Cordero said: "I can’t believe this nomination and I would like to thank all my fellow players for the support. I would also like to thank my Exeter teammates and club staff because without them I would not be where I am today.”
While Slade added: “It’s the highest honour in our game to be nominated for the Players’ Player of the Year and I am extremely proud of the recognition shown to me. To be seen in this light by the guys you play against week in, week out, is a very special feeling and I must thank them for their support.”
The award, along with a host of others, will be presented at the RPA Awards 2019 on Wednesday, 8th May at the home of English rugby, Twickenham Stadium.
The shortlist for the Sanlam Young Player of the Year Award is made up of Bath's Joe Cokanasiga, Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints) and Ollie Thorley (Gloucester).
Other award shortlists already announced include:
The O2 England Women's Player of the Year
Nominees: Sarah Bern, Katy Daley-Mclean and Sarah McKenna
England Men's Player of the Year
Nominees: Tom Curry, Jonny May and Mark Wilson
England Women's 7s Player of the Year in association with Emirates Holidays
Nominees: Holly Aitchison, Abbie Brown and Alex Matthews
England Men's 7s Player of the Year in association with Emirates Holidays
Nominees: Tom Bowen, Will Muir and Ethan Waddleton
RPA Special Merit Award 2019 Winner: Mathew Tait
RPA Blyth Spirit Award in association with Towergate Insurance 2019 Winner: Rob Horne