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Jamie Ritchie among first URC award winners announced

By Josh Raisey
Jamie Ritchie of Edinburgh during the United Rugby Championship match between Ulster and Edinburgh at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Former Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie has been crowned the United Rugby Championship turnover king.

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The Edinburgh flanker amassed 22 turnovers during the season, four ahead of Connacht’s Shamus Hurley-Langton in second place, and five ahead of third-placed Lions flanker JC Pretorius.

Ritchie is one of three players to pick up the first awards announced of the season ahead of the semi-finals at the weekend, and is joined by Benetton’s Alessandro Izekor the Bulls’ Chris Smith.

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Damian de Allende talks about the plaudits heaped on him by his teammates

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Damian de Allende talks about the plaudits heaped on him by his teammates

The newly capped Italy flanker Izekor has been named the URC’s tackle machine after completing 188 tackles across the season with 98 per cent accuracy.

The tackle machine award goes to the player with the greatest tackle success rate among those who have made over 150 tackles. He beat Stormers lock Ruben van Heerden to the award, who had a success rate of 97 per cent, but made 224 tackles. Scarlets and Scotland lock Alex Craig was third with a success rate of 96 per cent from his 199 tackles.

Fixture
United Rugby Championship
Bulls
25 - 20
Full-time
Leinster
All Stats and Data

The Gilbert golden boot is the final award that has been announced so far, which has gone to Smith. The award is for the player with the greatest kicking success rate from a minimum of 30 kicks, with the South African scooping the award with a rate of 90 per cent from 30 successful kicks.

Smith beat Ulster’s John Cooney, 88 per cent, and Leinster’s Ross Byrne, 87 per cent, to the award.

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The Vodacom URC player of the season, BKT coach of the season, and the player’s player of the season will all be announced next week ahead of the final.

The OFX top try scorer, Ironman, try of the season powered by URC.tv, Next-Gen player of the season, Elite XV, and Elixirr Innovation award winners are also set to be announced this week.

Fixture
United Rugby Championship
Munster
10 - 17
Full-time
Glasgow
All Stats and Data
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