Celebration of Rugby Dinner
By Mark Stevens
Sam Simmonds’ year to remember continued at the club’s Celebration of Rugby Dinner, where he picked up the prestigious Players’ Player of the Year prize.
In what has been a stellar 12 months for the 26-year-old, which included being selected to tour with the British & Irish Lions to South Africa this summer, his on-field efforts have now been highlighted by his own club peers.
Simmonds has been the stand-out performer for the Chiefs over the past two seasons, not only with his record-breaking try-scoring exploits, but by also picking up both individual and team silverware.
Crowned the European and Premiership Player of the Year during that time, he was also part of the Exeter team that lifted the Premiership and Champions Cup double last year.
His efforts were heralded at a glittering awards ceremony held at Sandy Park, which was attended by over 600 people.
The England international picked up two of the six awards given out on the evening. As well as being crowned the Central Players’ Player of the Year, he was also the Packexe Top Try Scorer of the Season.
Other award winners on the night were Tom O’Flaherty, whose stunning individual score against Bath was named the Otter Brewery Try of the Season; Stu Townsend was named the MJ Baker Club Man of the Year; Richard Capstick picked up the SW Comms Young Player of the Year, while Gareth Williams from the club’s Community team was named Community Person of the Year.
The night, which included a three-course meal, heard detailed insights on the year from Chiefs Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter; Women’s head coach Susie Appleby, players Henry Slade, Stu Townsend, Joe Simmonds, Patricia Garcia and Linde van der Velden, as well as club CEO and chairman, Tony Rowe OBE; whilst an online auction of unique Chiefs memorabilia helped to raise over £30,000 for the Exeter Chiefs Foundation.
CENTRAX PLAYERS' PLAYER OF THE YEAR - SAM SIMMONDS
SW COMMS YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR - RICHARD CAPSTICK
MJ BAKER CLUB MAN OF THE YEAR - STU TOWNSEND
PACKEXE TOP TRY-SCORER - SAM SIMMONDS
OTTER BREWERY TRY OF THE SEASON - TOM O'FLAHERTY
NUFFIELD HEALTH COMMUNITY PERSON OF THE YEAR - GARETH WILLIAMS