Exeter flanker James Scaysbrook among shortlist for Aviva Premiership player of the year


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The Independent Online

Exeter's success has been recognised with flanker James Scaysbrook shortlisted for the Aviva Premiership player of the year award and boss Rob Baxter nominated in the QBE director of rugby category.

The Chiefs have already qualified for the Heineken Cup in only their second season in the Premiership and they are still in the hunt for a place in the semi-finals.

Baxter is up against Harlequins' director of rugby Conor O'Shea and Leicester's Richard Cockerill, who has masterminded a turnaround in fortunes for the Tigers over the course of a rocky season.

Leicester were hit hard by World Cup absentees at the start of the campaign but they close within a point of league leaders Harlequins with Saturday's thrilling 43-33 victory at The Stoop.

O'Shea's Harlequins have set the pace in the Premiership for most of the season with a side featuring the highest proportion of English talent in the country.

Harlequins provide two nominees to the player of the year shortlist in England captain Chris Robshaw and full-back Mike Brown.

Exeter's Scaysbrook is also up against the Leicester flanker Julian Salvi, the only overseas player in the six-man list, Saracens centre Brad Barritt and Gloucester prop Nick Wood.

Nominations for Land Rover discovery of the year - for players aged 21 and under on the day of the Premiership final - will be announced today.

The player and director of rugby shortlists were compiled by a panel of rugby media.

All the winners will be revealed on May 8 at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards night, to be held at the Hilton, Park Lane.