England captain Chris Robshaw named Player of the Season


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The Independent Online

Harlequins and England captain Chris Robshaw was last night named Player of the Season at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards.

Robshaw's England team-mate Owen Farrell, the Saracens fly-half or centre, picked up the Land Rover Discovery of the season award.

And Exeter's Rob Baxter was named QBR director of rugby of the season in recognition of the Chiefs qualifying for the Heineken Cup after just two seasons in the top flight.

Click here for The Independent's Chris Hewett's team of the season

Under Robshaw's captaincy, Harlequins finished top of the Premiership table and this Saturday face a home semi-final against Northampton at The Stoop.

Robshaw captained England in only his second Test appearance and led the new-look national team to four wins in the RBS 6 Nations.

England won three away games for the first time in the history of the championship and rounded off their campaign with a 30-9 demolition of Ireland at Twickenham.

Robshaw's influence was seen as integral to Stuart Lancaster successfully rebuilding the England team in the wake of the World Cup.

Despite his international commitments, Robshaw has played 16 Premiership games and he saw off competition for the award from Harlequins team-mate Mike Brown, Leicester flanker Julian Salvi, Exeter loose forward James Scaysbrook, Saracens centre Brad Barritt and Gloucester prop Nick Wood.

"This award is richly deserved," said Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea, who first bestowed the captaincy honours on Robshaw.

"What I like about him is that no matter which accolades come his way or what he achieves we all know what comes first with Chris is the team.

"Chris is the sort of guy who'll never get above himself. For him it is all about the team. He wants nothing more than for the team to be successful."

Robshaw was also named as captain of the ESPN Dream Team, selected by former England internationals Austin Healey and Ben Kay.

Farrell won the young player award after a season in which he established himself in the England team and started every match of the Six Nations, first at centre and then at fly-half.

The award is for players aged 21 or under on the day of the Premiership final and Farrell won it ahead of Wasps pair Joe Launchbury and Christian Wade, Harlequins flanker Luke Wallace, London Irish centre Jonathan Joseph and Worcester flanker Matt Kvesic.

Baxter was unfortunate not to win the director of rugby award last year but his efforts in guiding the Chiefs from the Championship to fifth place in the Premiership and Heineken Cup qualification in the space of two years have now been recognised.

Gloucester full-back Jonny May won the MBNA try of the season award for his effort against Harlequins.

London Irish's Tom Homer won the Gilbert golden boot for his haul of 253 points while retiring Exile Bob Casey was named Aviva community player of the year.

Sale's Rob Miller won the Guinness Top Try Scorer of the Season Award for his 10 touchdowns.