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Henry Slade scoops Premiership player of the season award

By Josh Raisey
Henry Slade is celebrating his side's 20-14 victory during the Gallagher Premiership match between Newcastle Falcons and Exeter Chiefs at Kingston Park in Newcastle, on November 26, 2023. (Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

England and Exeter Chiefs centre Henry Slade has been crowned the Gallagher Premiership player of the season at the Premiership Rugby Awards.

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Exeter enjoyed a successful night at the awards despite a seventh-place finish in the league, with Slade’s club and country teammate Immanuel Feyi-Waboso also being named the breakthrough player of the season.

Slade beat Northampton Saints duo Courtney Lawes and Fin Smith, as well as Bath’s Finn Russell to scoop the award, capping off a season that started in disappointing fashion for him.

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The 62-cap international failed to make England’s squad for the World Cup last year, but regained his place in the national team for the Guinness Six Nations. The season has not only ended with the award, but he also finished as the league’s top point scorer. To make his week even better, he signed a new contract at Sandy Park before the Chiefs’ final game of the season.

Feyi-Waboso, who was playing for National League One’s Taunton Titans last season, beat Newcastle Falcons flanker Guy Pepper and Harlequins duo Fin Baxter and Chandler Cunningham-South to the award.

Fixture
Gallagher Premiership
Northampton
22 - 20
Full-time
Saracens
All Stats and Data

The only player from table-topping Northampton to pick up an award was winger Ollie Sleightholme, who took home the top try scorer award for his 14 tries.

Saints boss Phil Dowson was crowned the director of rugby of the season though in a season where he also took the Saints to the Investec Champions Cup semi-final.

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Elsewhere, Saracens and Scotland flanker Andy Christie was named the community player of the season for his work as an ambassador of the Sporting Roots project. Retired referee Wayne Barnes was also given a special recognition award having brought his career to an end earlier this season after officiating the World Cup final.

“Henry Slade has had a memorable season from start to finish, after missing out on the Rugby World Cup in France,” said CEO of Premiership Rugby Simon Massie-Taylor.

“He led a young, new-look Exeter Chiefs side to within touching distance of the play-offs.

“Henry is a world-class player and this season has also won a number of games with a clutch kick in the last play – so is a worthy winner of the Gallagher player of the season.

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“Immanuel Feyi-Waboso’s season is a breakthrough in every sense of the word.

“From University and National League Rugby to become one of the Gallagher Premiership and England’s shining stars in the space of a season is an incredible achievement. I can’t wait to follow his career at Exeter Chiefs.

“Then taking Northampton Saints from the play-off positions to top of the league makes Phil Dowson the obvious choice for director of rugby of the Season.

“On top of that, he has improved a young batch of English talent to become stars of Premiership Rugby and then England regulars, which is testament to the outstanding job Phil is doing in Northampton.”

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1 Comment
f
finn 26 days ago

no doubt he’s a great player who has been excellent this season - but I am slightly surprised by this. He absolutely deserves it, just thought Lawes or Smith would have been a more likely choice.

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