Wood on course for awards double
May 12, 2011
Tom Wood has been nominated for RPA Players' Player of the Season © Getty Images
Northampton flanker Tom Wood is on course for a remarkable double after being nominated for two Rugby Players' Association (RPA) awards.
Wood, who was rewarded for an outstanding season with the Aviva Premiership Player of the Season earlier this week, is in the running for both the RPA Players' Player of the Year award and the Young Player of the Year honour. The 24-year-old, who is currently sleeping in an oxygen chamber in a bid to be fit for the season run-in, has helped propel Saints into the Premiership semi-finals and the Heineken Cup Final and he also made his England bow during this year's Six Nations.
The prestigious RPA award, won last year by Saracens hooker Schalk Brits, will be presented on May 25, with Wood's Northampton team-mate Chris Ashton another up for top prize.
Leicester No.8 Thomas Waldrom has also been nominated while Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans represents the London clubs. Gloucester centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu and Exeter's veteran tight-head Chris Budgen round off the nominations.
Joining Wood in the Young Player of the Season category are his Saints team-mate Courtney Lawes, Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi (who claimed the Aviva Premiership's Discovery of the Season honour this week), Gloucester winger Charlie Sharples, Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell and Quins prop Joe Marler.
"It has already been an unbelievable year for me, making my England debut and reaching the Premiership semi-final and the Heineken Cup Final with Northampton," said Wood. "I can't thank the coaches and players enough for helping me get this far. It's a privilege to be nominated by my fellow players and to make the cut for both the Players' Player and Young Player Awards. At least I get two shots at coming away with something."
Computacenter Players' Player of the Year 2011 nominees:
Norman Broadbent Young Player of the Year 2011 nominees:
Other awards to be presented at the RPA Computacenter Rugby Players' Awards 2011 are:
RPA Special Merit Award, sponsored by HSBC
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
After Brian O'Driscoll's emotional final Ireland appearance on home soil, and seeing the Six Nations boil down to a three-horse race, we bring you the Weekend in PIctures
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year