England fly-half Danny Cipriani has been voted Rugby Players’ Association player of the year for 2019 following an outstanding debut season at Gloucester.

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Cipriani amassed the most votes from his fellow professionals and becomes only the third person, alongside Jonny Wilkinson and Christian Wade, to be recognised having previously won the young player award.

The 31-year-old has masterminded Gloucester’s march into the Gallagher Premiership play-offs, an achievement that had eluded the club since 2011, after leaving Wasps last summer.

For all his dazzling form and assured game management – in a season marred by injury, a three-week ban for a high tackle and a fine incurred for a nightclub incident – Cipriani has been unable to reclaim his England place.

Also present on the five-strong shortlist were Exeter wing Santiago Cordero, Sale scrum-half Faf De Klerk, Northampton scrum-half Cobus Reinach and Exeter centre Henry Slade.

Cipriani said: “It’s very humbling to be named the winner of such a prestigious and special award.

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“Rugby is the ultimate team sport and every day we work exceptionally hard together as a club to improve every aspect of our performance.

“I would like to thank my fellow professionals for the wonderful recognition and to everyone who has continued to support me along this journey.”

Gloucester enjoyed further success at the awards ceremony at Twickenham when their all-action wing Ollie Thorley, 22, was crowned young player of the year.

Other notable winners on the night included Sarah Bern as the England women’s player of the year and Jonny May as the England men’s player of the year, while Mathew Tait won the special merit award.

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