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Rugby News

Players pick their best of the season

Sione Kalamafoni has been named Players’ Player of the Year in his first season with Leicester Tigers.

The Tonga international back-rower was the choice of his colleagues in the playing squad in a season which has seen Kalamafoni top the club’s stats for carries and tackles.

He was presented with his award at the awards dinner, supported by Total Motion vehicle management, at Welford Road on Tuesday evening after finishing ahead of the other shortlisted candidates Matt Toomua and Telusa Veainu.

After receiving his award from club captain Tom Youngs and Total Motion’s Chris Pepper, Kalamafoni said: “There are a lot of good players at this club, it is one of the best clubs in the world and to be announced as Players’ Player of the Year is enormous.

“I just want to thank everyone, especially my colleagues, the players that voted for me and had faith in me, and the sponsors.”

As part of the award, Kalamafoni received a Ferrari and Aston Martin driving experience courtesy of event sponsors Total Motion.

Scrum-half Harry Simmons finished ahead of Ellis Genge and Harry wells to be named Players’ Young Player of the Year in his breakthrough campaign in senior rugby, while Telusa Veainu’s score in the win at Saracens was chosen by sponsors as the Try of the Season. Scroll down to watch the try again on LTTV.

Both winners also received track day driving experiences courtesy of the sponsors.

Simmons, who has made 11 first-team appearances this season, including his European debut in Castres and scoring his first senior tries in the Anglo-Welsh Cup against Wasps, said: “I’ve had my first taste of first-team rugby and I’m very grateful to the boys that voted for me, I’m absolutely thrilled to win this award.”

Tigers chief executive Simon Cohen, welcoming player sponsors and 1880 Club members to the evening, said: “The revenues that we bring in to build a team cannot be done without the people in this room. Your support genuinely makes a difference. We are connected to you and I hope you all feel connected to the club too.”

The Supporters’ Awards evening is at Welford Road next Tuesday (May 1) when the whole squad will be in attendance to honour the winners as chosen by the Tigers Family. Tickets are still available, book at the Tigers ticket office by calling 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or book online.