Ford family sweeps English Rugby awards

England flyhalf George Ford has been named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season and his father Mike Ford named Director of Rugby of the Season at a ceremony in London.

The Bath Rugby outside-half has enjoyed a stellar season for both club and country as Bath have made the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals for the first time since 2010.

“George is a worthy recipient of this year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season award,” said Phil Winstanley, the Rugby Director at Premiership Rugby.

“There is no doubt he has spear-headed an extremely talented back-line at Bath Rugby and his control and composure at fly-half show a remarkable maturity for someone so young.

“Having graduated through the Leicester Tigers Academy and becoming the youngest player to make his professional debut in the Premiership he went on to become the first Englishman to claim the IRB Young Player of the Year award.

“This season he has now cemented his position in the England team and I’m sure we all hope he can take his fantastic form from this season into this year’s Rugby World Cup.”

One of only five 17-year-olds ever to have played Premiership Rugby when he made his debut in 2010, Ford was marked out for success from a very early age, establishing himself in the England team this season.

His career has been building for some time. He won the Premiership A League with Leicester in 2010 and 2011, the LV= Cup in 2012 and the Aviva Premiership Rugby title with Tigers in 2013.

Ford was the top scorer in Aviva Premiership Rugby last season with 250 points and this season his impact has been enormous as Bath Rugby have lost just three of the 14 Aviva Premiership Rugby games he’s played this season

At 24, Ford’s club colleague Jonathan Joseph was the oldest player on the shortlist.

Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season – Shortlist:
– Elliot Daly – Wasps
– George Ford – Bath Rugby
– Nathan Hughes – Wasps
– Jonathan Joseph – Bath Rugby
– Billy Vunipola – Saracens

Previous winners:
2013-14 – Mike Brown (Harlequins)
2012-13 – Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
2011-12 – Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
2010-11 – Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
2009-10 – Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)

On an incredible night for the Ford family, George’s father Mike Ford was named Guinness Director of Rugby of the Season after taking Bath Rugby to a home Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final this Saturday against Leicester Tigers and an unforgettable European campaign that brought a European Champions Cup quarter-final.

A former rugby league international Ford joined Bath Rugby in the summer of 2012. Ford’s knowledge of the game has been utilised to great success at international level with Ireland, England and the 2005 British and Irish Lions – the midweek side he coached went unbeaten in New Zealand.

His first Head Coach role in Premiership Rugby was in the 2005-06 season with Saracens, and his impressive coaching achievements are matched by his former career as a rugby league player. Ford has represented Great Britain Rugby League and is an inductee in the Castleford Tigers Hall of Fame.

Guinness Director of Rugby of the Season – Shortlist:
Rob Baxter – Exeter Chiefs
Mike Ford – Bath Rugby
Jim Mallinder – Northampton Saints
Dai Young – Wasps
Previous Winners:
2013-14 – Mark McCall (Saracens)
2012-13 – Mark McCall (Saracens)
2011-12 – Rob Baxter (Exeter Chiefs)
2010-11 – Jim Mallinder (Northampton Saints)

In other awards Exeter Chiefs Henry Slade won the Land Rover Discovery of the Season award, for the best Under-23 player in Aviva Premiership Rugby, Joe Simpson won the Citizen Try of the Season.

Chiefs No 8 Thomas Waldrom is the season’s top try scorer with 16 tries and Wasps Andy Goode Golden Boot with 235 points.

The dream team of the season was announced as follows.

The full team:
15. Anthony Watson – Bath Rugby
14. Christian Wade – Wasps
13. Johnathan Joseph – Bath Rugby
12. Henry Slade – Exeter Chiefs
11. Sinoti Sinoti – Newcastle Falcons
10. George Ford – Bath Rugby
9. Joe Simpson – Wasps
1. Matt Mullan – Wasps
2. Jamie George – Saracens
3. Tomas Francis – Exeter Chiefs
4. Graham Kitchener – Leicester Tigers
5. Dean Mumm – Exeter Chiefs (Captain)
6. Dave Ewers – Exeter Chiefs
7. Francois Louw – Bath Rugby
8. Nathan Hughes – Wasps

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