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The Rugby Paper Awards 2019: Who are your players of the year?

We want your votes for two outstanding individuals from the world of rugby: your Professional Men’s Player of the Year and your Professional Women’s Player of the Year.

Front-runners for the men’s award will no doubt include stars from Exeter and Saracens.

Perhaps especially Saracens as they battle on two fronts for the Premiership crown and the European Cup.

Players like their inspirational captain Brad Barritt and the always immaculate Alex Goode, overlooked by Eddie Jones but invaluable for his club. 

Maybe you want to choose one of the London Irish men seemingly heading back to the Premiership or even one of the Bristol Bears who have made an impact in their promotion season.

The Men’s Player of the Year is sponsored by Wacky Sox, who specialise in the supply of premium quality sports socks. While socks aren’t always seen as the most exciting part of any players sports kit they are usually the items which are worn the most and the piece of kit which can often cause the most discomfort and irritation.

For the Professional Women’s Player of the Year Award we turned for advice to fomer England captain Catherine Spencer.

She says:  “One of the names that won’t be far away  is Sarah Bern. The young England prop  has made a huge impact at both club and country following an injury forced break. She is the ultimate modern day front row player with a sidestep and turn of pace that any back would be proud of. 

“Fly-half Katy Daley-Mclean has been exceptional this year. While providing on pitch leadership with Loughborough Lightening following her move from DMP Sharks she has also been magical in the England shirt: the maestro orchestrating everything that has been good about England.   

“Jess Breach has returned from Sevens to Fifteens rugby plying her club trade at the well-supported Harlequins set- up and seamlessly carrying off where she left off following her dramatic short burst on to the international season in the 2017 Autumn Internationals.

“One more name I will add is Sarah McKenna. She has excelled this season, calming all our fears that the void left by Nolli Waterman’s retirement would not be filled.”

This award is sponsored by Imagine Cruising who say: “We go beyond your cruising dreams to bring you new travel experiences and help you create unforgettable memories.

“We are passionate about creating holidays that exceed your imagination and take you on a journey to exciting, unexpected and surprising places.”

The winners will be decided by your votes and will be honoured at a star-studded lunch at the

Twickenham Stoop on Wednesday May 29 in the week before the European Championship final across the road at Twickenham.

Along with the rest of the nominees for the awards listed in the panel on the left, they will be considered by our judges including columnists Jeremy Guscott and Jeff Probyn plus our star writers Nick Cain and Peter Jackson.

The poll will stay open until May 1.

This article was brought to you by The Rugby Paper, the UK's best-selling rugby publication, on-sale every Sunday.
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