We are proud to announce the first Rugby Paper Awards will be held at the end of this season.
It is ten years since the paper was launched, just after England’s heroic march to the World Cup Final of 2007, and to mark that anniversary we wish to honour the men and women who make our game great.
It will be up to you, the readers, who have helped to establish The Rugby Paper as the foremost publication on Rugby Union, who will decide who to honour at Harlequins’ Twickenham Stoop on Wednesday May 29.
The awards list is designed to demonstrate our belief that Rugby Union is about all the participants, not just the famous and multi-talented few at the top of the professional summit.
All praise to them, of course, for the thrills and excitement they bring. But the passion burns just as brightly among the players and supporters of clubs lower down the pyramid.
Now we are asking readers to vote for the men and women they believe deserve special mention in this World Cup year.
Make your choice(s) and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to Awards, The Rugby Paper, Tuition House, St George’s Road, Wibledon SW19 4EU
Who are the stand-out players, not only in the Premiership but in the Championship and National Leagues below?
More than that, who is the unsung hero down your way, the man or woman who spends hours doing the jobs no-one else wants to do, and who, because of that, is the lifeblood of your club.
Who has given the sport great service and deserves a Lifetime Achievement Award to sit proudly on their mantelpiece?
Which club has contributed most, not only on the playing field but in the local community, perhaps building youth teams and helping to give the kids reasons not to roam the streets? Or asking their players to go out and spread the word by coaching at local schools.
Please look at the list of awards published on the left and send your votes in. The poll will stay open until May 1 when we will publish a shortlist of your recommendations.
Then we will ask our panel of experts including columnists Jeremy Guscott and Jeff Probyn plus our star writers Nick Cain and Peter Jackson to sift through and make their recommendations.
The results will be announced at the Twickenham Stoop during the lunch on May 29 when we will invite all finalists, their club representatives and sponsors to celebrate the season in the week building up to the Premiership final across the road at Twickenham.
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