IT WAS a double celebration for Wallaby backrow George Smith after he was voted Players’ Player of the Season and Supporters’ Player of the Season at Wasps’ end of the season awards.
Smith, who joined Wasps on a one-season contract last summer, picked up the awards at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday evening and on the same day he was named on the RPA Players’ Player of the Year nominees list, once again being voted among the best in the business by his peers.
Smith fought off stiff competition from All Black Charles Piutau, who has also made a phenomenal impact for Wasps during his season-long deal with the club, before joining up with Ulster in the summer.
Being voted for by his peers is no new experience for Smith and he was left humbled by the most recent recognition of his contribution to Wasps’ season
He said: “I’m very honoured to receive the Player’s Player award. I know about the legends that have been at this club and to receive this is fantastic.
“With the nominees that we had this season, it could have been a number of players within the squad. We have so many talented players in this team, so I’m very privileged and honoured to receive this award.
“It’s been a really good journey for me to be involved at this club. I didn’t know too much about the history of the club before I came here, but I knew the team had success in the past. Being signed by Dai and accepted into the team by all of the players here has been a great journey. I have really enjoyed my time here and I hope to end it on a good note.
“It’s also an honour to win an award voted for by our supporters, who come out to support us each week. When we arrive for each game the support at the gates to greet us when we get off the bus is amazing.
“You can sense the supporters behind you when you are on the field and I would like to say thank you for that support which the players really appreciate.”
Scrum half Dan Robson, who was also nominated on the Players’ Player of the Season shortlist, walked away with the Young Player of the Season trophy, as voted for by Wasps’ coaching team and the Academy Player of the Season went to 19-year-old back row Jack Willis.
Other winners recognised for their outstanding contribution to life at Wasps this season, included Club Person of the Season Pudsey Bevan (kit man), Community Player of the Season Christian Wade, Geoff Strange took home the Outstanding Services to Wasps Award and Try of the Season went to Elliot Daly for his try against Leinster.
Full Awards Nominees:
Players’ Player of the Season
Young Player of the Season
Supporters’ Player of the Season
Academy Player of the Season
Club Person of the Season
Community Player of the Season