The shortlist for the RPA Players’ Player of the Year has been announced, and it has been the cause for many questions from fans.
There are some notable inclusions on the list, none more so than England pariah Danny Cipriani. The Gloucester fly-half has been overlooked by England head coach Eddie Jones all season to the disbelief of many fans and pundits. His position in this list is an indication of how well he has played this season, and it has only increased the wave of support for him to wear the Red Rose again.
Likewise, another interesting topic for discussion is the fact that two South African scrum-halves have made it onto the list, Sale’s Faf de Klerk and Northampton’s Cobus Reinach. Many feel that both of these need to be selected by the Springboks for the World Cup.
Two Exeter players comprise the rest of the list in England’s Henry Slade and Santiago Cordero. It is hard to gauge who is the favourite to claim the award amongst fans on social media, as there are calls for each player to win the coveted accolade.
However, what has alarmed many fans on Twitter is the fact that there are no forwards on this shortlist. Of course, the list is selected by players, which is the fairest indication of who the best players are, but that has not stopped some fans questioning the list.
A number of players, such as Exeter’s Matt Kvesic, Gloucester’s Ben Morgan, Harlequins’ Chris Robshaw and Saracens’ Will Skelton are all names that have been suggested as contenders for the title, and are worthy of a place on the shortlist after fantastic seasons with their clubs.
This is what the fans have said:
No forwards !?!?
— Bainsy (@RichardBains) May 1, 2019
No forwards at all
— shakeydaisy (@Tim_Cockers) May 1, 2019
Flash boys. No forwards then?
— Mark Budd (@Buddyboy51) May 1, 2019
No Robshaw?? Really! He’s been on fire again this season
— Abigail Barletta ???? (@BarlettaAbigail) May 1, 2019
— Craig Morley (@craigmorley) May 1, 2019
Forwards don't exist apparently https://t.co/L72mdam7kD
— Russ Brookes (@RussBrookes1981) May 1, 2019
now announce the forwards nominees.. https://t.co/DXtRlmDtXd
— Callum Wood (@CallumW18) May 1, 2019
As some fans have suggested, this is actually a positive reflection of where rugby is at currently, with the smaller, more skillful players dominating the shortlist. However, that still does not mean that there is no place for forwards.
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