At the presentations at Welford Road on Tuesday evening, head coach Richard Cockerill acknowledged the contribution of Mauger and said: “This season, both as a captain and a player, he has been outstanding for us. People talk about bringing guys in from overseas who make a difference and we try to pick good players and good people, and I think Aaron is both of those.”
Mauger finished top of the pile from a shortlist which also included Sam Vesty, Scott Hamilton and Tom Croft.
Another Kiwi, Scott Hamilton, was named Newcomer of the Year.
Hamilton has scored nine tries since arriving from Canterbury in the autumn and said: “It is awesome here. Playing out there at Welford Road is a huge privilege. It is totally different to anything I have been used to, from the crowd being so close to the pitch to everyone being so polite when a kick is being taken and running through the crowd to kick-off. You don’t get that anywhere else. It is a special place to play.”
Matt Smith, an ever-present until picking up an ankle injury in the win at Bristol last month, was named Young Player of the Season.
Now working his way back to fitness, Smith said: “I didn’t expect to play in this many games. When I have had an opportunity to play I have enjoyed every second of it.”
Julien Dupuy’s last-minute try against Bath Rugby in the Heineken Cup semi-final topped the fans’ voting for Try of the Season.
He said: “I am happy for me to score the try but also for the players, for the supporters and everybody at Leicester Tigers.”
Ben Kay received the suppporters’ Outstanding Service award with Martin Corry, Geordan Murphy, Sam Vesty and Julian White the other nominees.
Kay said: “There has been a lot of talent at this club that has been and gone over the years but we have managed to stay near the top. It shows that something is being done right at the club and I am sure it is the family ethos here.”