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Aviva Premiership
Saints leads award nominations
ESPNscrum Staff
April 27, 2011
Northampton's Chris Ashton celebrates a try, London Irish v Northampton Saints, Aviva Premiership, Madejski Stadium, Reading, England, April 23, 2011
Chris Ashton scored his ninth try of the season in the Aviva Premiership against London Irish at the weekend © Getty Images
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England winger Chris Ashton is one of three Northampton Saints to be nominated for the coveted Aviva Premiership Player of the Season award.

Ashton, who has enjoyed a hugely successful season for club as well as country scoring nine tries for the Saints so far, is named alongside team-mates Brian Mujati and Tom Wood in the list of potential winners for a second successive year. It is also the second successive year in which Saints have provided three nominees.

The Saints trio face stiff competition from Saracens hooker Schalk Brits and Leicester No.8 Thomas Waldrom, who has made a big impact in the Premiership since arriving from New Zealand at the beginning of the season.

Given that the New Zealander is qualified to play for England, English players dominate the nominations while there are no overseas players selected for the Land Rover Discovery of the Season award. Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell, Sale lock James Gaskell, Harlequins centre George Lowe, Gloucester wing Charlie Sharples and Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi will fight it out for the prize.

Exeter Chiefs' remarkable debut season in the Premiership is recognised with Rob Baxter nominated for QBE Director of Rugby of the Season, alongside Gloucester's Bryan Redpath, Leicester's Richard Cockerill, Saracens Mark McCall and Northampton's Jim Mallinder.

Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season:

Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints), Schalk Brits (Saracens), Brian Mujati (Northampton Saints), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)

Land Rover Discovery of the Season:

Owen Farrell (Saracens), James Gaskell (Sale Sharks), George Lowe (Harlequins), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)

QBE Director of Rugby of the Season:

Rob Baxter (Exeter Chiefs), Bryan Redpath (Gloucester Rugby), Richard Cockerill (Leicester Tigers), Jim Mallinder (Northampton Saints), Mark McCall (Saracens)

MBNA Try of the Season:

Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints), Aviva Premiership Rugby round 21, London Irish v NORTHAMPTON SAINTS, Saturday 23rd April 2011

Schalk Brits (Saracens), Aviva Premiership Rugby round 21, SARACENS v Gloucester Rugby, Sunday 24th April 2011

Andrew Hazell (Gloucester Rugby), Aviva Premiership Rugby round 20, Leicester Tigers v GLOUCESTER RUGBY, Saturday 16th April 2011

Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Aviva Premiership Rugby round 17, Leicester Tigers v SARACENS, Saturday 5th March 2011

Lesley Vainikolo (Gloucester Rugby), Aviva Premiership Rugby round 7, GLOUCESTER RUGBY v Leicester Tigers, Saturday 30th October 2010

Gatorade Performance of the Season:

Hendre Fourie (Leeds Carnegie), Aviva Premiership Rugby round 12, LEEDS CARNEGIE v Gloucester Rugby, Saturday 1st January 2011

Luke Watson (Bath Rugby), Aviva Premiership Rugby round 6, Leicester Tigers v BATH RUGBY, Saturday 23rd October 2010

Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Aviva Premiership Rugby round 9, EXETER CHIEFS v Sale Sharks, Sat 27th November 2010

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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