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Manu and Waldrom up for RPA awards

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Thomas Waldrom and Manu Tuilagi have been nominated in the 2011 RPA Rugby Players' Awards.

Back-rower Waldrom, who was voted Tigers’ player of the year by the club's supporters, is on the six-man shortlist for the Computacentre Players’ Player of the Year.

Waldrom faces competition from Northampton Saints’ Tom Wood, who was named the Aviva Player of the Year on Tuesday, and Chris Ashton, as well as Nick Evans ( Harlequins), Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu (Gloucester) and Chris Budgen (Exeter Chiefs).

Waldrom said: “The Players’ Player Award is always the trophy that a player treasures the most as your team-mates and opponents know what it takes to reach that stage, so it’s a privilege even to make the shortlist, especially in my first season at Leicester Tigers.

“It has been such an exciting move for me joining the Tigers and I really appreciate the opportunity the coaches have given me and thank the players for helping me to settle in so well.”

Team-mate Tuilagi has already won both the players and the supporters young player awards at Tigers this season as well as the Land Rover Discovery of the Year at Tuesday's Aviva Premiership Awards. He will be aiming to add the Norman Broadbent Young Player of the Year after being included on the six-man shortlist.

The 19-year-old is joined by Wood, who at 23 qualifies for the youngs player and players’ player awards. The list is completed by Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester), Owen Farrell (Saracens) and Joe Marler (Harlequins).

His brother Alesana is in the running for the Sunday Times Try of the Year for his hat-trick try against Gloucester last month.

The winners will be announced at the RPA Computacenter Rugby Players’ Awards Dinner, to be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on May 25.

The nominations in full are:

Computacenter Players’ Player of the Year 2011
Chris Ashton - Northampton Saints
Tom Wood - Northampton Saints
Thomas Waldrom - Leicester Tigers
Nick Evans - Harlequins
Chris Budgen - Exeter Chiefs
Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu - Gloucester

Norman Broadbent Young Player of the Year 2011
Courtney Lawes - Northampton Saints
Manu Tuilagi - Leicester Tigers
Tom Wood - Northampton Saints
Charlie Sharples - Gloucester
Owen Farrell - Saracens
Joe Marler – Harlequins

Other awards to be presented at the RPA Computacenter Rugby Players’ Awards 2011 are:
RPA Special Merit Award, sponsored by HSBC
Hall of Fame Induction
RPA Blyth Spirit Award, sponsored by Towergate tlc
The Sunday Times Try of the Year