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Fellow professionals nominate duo for awards

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Leicester Tigers duo Steve Mafi and George Ford are among the nominations for national awards organised by the Rugby Players Association.

Mafi, already the club’s choice as Players’ Player of the Year and supporters’ choice as Young Player of the Year, is on a five-man shortlist for the Computacenter Players’ Player of the Year award.

The Tonga international said: “I’m enjoying my rugby at Leicester and it’s a great honour to be included in the nominations for this award. I'd like to thank any player who voted for me.”

Club colleague Thomas Waldrom collected the award last year, following in the footsteps of fellow Tigers forwards Martin Corry (2005) and Neil Back (1999).

Fly-half Ford is among the shortlisted names for the LV= Young Player of the Year award.

He said: “It’s a massive honour to be voted for by the players and I’m really happy to have been nominated. But it’s due to the team effort and I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity I have this season.

“I know all the guys on the list and especially Owen Farrell who I’ve known for last six or seven years, and it’s just nice to have made the same list as some of these guys who are playing in the Aviva Premiership week in and week out.”

The winners will be announced in front of an audience of stars from the Aviva Premiership and the international game at the RPA Computacenter Players’ Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on May 23. The event will be broadcast on Sky Sports’ Rugby Club.

Damian Hopley, chief executive of the RPA, said: “To be voted the best player in the Aviva Premiership by your peers remains the ultimate domestic honour and I would like to congratulate all players who have made the shortlists. The RPA Computacenter Players’ Awards is a momentous night for our members. It gives players an opportunity to honour their colleagues while also raising valuable funds for The RPA Benevolent Fund – the Professional Players’ Charity.”

The nominations in full are:

Computacenter Players’ Player of the Year
Mike Brown – Harlequins
Nick Evans – Harlequins
Steve Mafi – Leicester Tigers
George Pisi – Northampton Saints
Chris Robshaw – Harlequins

LV= Young Player of the Year
Freddie Burns - Gloucester Rugby
Owen Farrell – Saracens
George Ford – Leicester Tigers
Jonny May – Gloucester Rugby
Christian Wade – London Wasps