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Danny Cipriani: Gloucester fly-half wins Premiership Player of the Season award

Danny Cipriani: Gloucester fly-half wins Premiership Player of the Season award

Danny Cipriani is preparing for Gloucester's play-off semi-final against SaracensGloucester fly-half Danny Cipriani has been crowned the Premiership Player of the Season to secure an awards double. The 31-year-old had already won the Rugby Players Association's annual award earlier this month.He is only the second player, after Wasps' Jimmy Gopperth in 2017, to win both awards in the same season.
Sale's Faf De Klerk, Saracens' Alex Goode, Northampton's Cobus Reinach, Exeter's Matt Kvesic and Bristol's Steven Luatua were also nominated.Saracens' Mark McCall won the Director of Rugby of the Season award, after leading the north London club to a third European Champions Cup title, with a Premiership semi-final play-off against Gloucester on Saturday to come.Cipriani has been pivotal to the Cherry and Whites' revival in his first season at Kingsholm, assisting more tries - 13 - than any other player in the Premiership to lead his side to third place."You have to adapt to the style of the team and the coaches involved, and I can only speak highly of Danny's commitment to the team," said Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann, who was also nominated for the director of rugby award alongside Exeter's Rob Baxter, Northampton's Chris Boyd and Bristol's Pat Lam."He's set up into the culture, he's open and of course he's made a serious impact on the field."
'Best skill I've seen from a fly-half'
Cipriani, who has won 16 caps for England, has only played twice for his country under head coach Eddie Jones on last summer's tour to South Africa.But the former Wasps and Sale player still harbours hopes of forcing his way into Jones' preliminary World Cup training squad ahead of the tournament in Japan starting in September."He's probably got the best skill I've seen from a fly-half from an attacking point of view," Ackermann added. "He can kick well and he's extremely fast. He knows what he wants in attack and his distribution is top class."Elsewhere, Sale's 20-year-old flanker Tom Curry, who established himself as England's open-side during this year's Six Nations, won the Discovery of the Season award.Veteran Saracens scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth also won a special award after surpassing Steve Borthwick on the Premiership's all-time appearance list.Sale's Denny Solomona and Northampton's Reinach shared the award for top try-scorer with 12, while Gloucester winger Ollie Thorley won the Try of the Season award for his score against Leicester.Leicester fly-half George Ford won the Golden Boot award after amassing 201 points for the Tigers.Premiership Dream Team: Alex Goode (Saracens); Santiago Cordero (Exeter), Henry Slade (Exeter), Mark Atkinson (Gloucester), Ollie Thorley (Gloucester); Danny Cipriani (Gloucester), Cobus Reinach (Northampton); Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Jamie George (Saracens), John Afoa (Bristol), Franco Mostert (Gloucester), Will Skelton (Saracens), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Tom Curry (Sale), Matt Kvesic (Exeter).
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