Sam Davies recorded a notable double on Thursday evening when he walked away with both the Players’ and OSC Player of the Year Awards at the Ospreys’ annual dinner.
As rugby tradition dictates, players, coaches, staff, commercial partners, supporters and directors came together at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea on Thursday evening for the event which was hosted by the South Wales Evening Post.
While there is business still outstanding on the field, 300 guests reflected on the season that is drawing to a close, looked to the future, and took time out to remember an Osprey legend no longer with us.
In addition to Davies, James King took the Coaches’ Player of the Year Award, other winners included youngsters Owen Watkin and Reuben Morgan Williams, while individual landmarks including 50 and 100 caps were recognised along with a special farewell to those moving on at the end of the season.
The evening’s most poignant moment saw the audience pause to celebrate the achievements of former Players’ Player winner, Jerry Collins, who so tragically lost his life last year along with wife Alana, ahead of King being presented with this year’s honour.
The prestigious Osprey of the Year award went to Simon Lloyd, Operations and Merchandise Manager. A popular figure behind the scenes, Simon has been part of the administrative team at the Ospreys since the move to the Liberty Stadium in 2005 having previously worked for Swansea RFC and has been recognised for his incredible work ethic and commitment to the cause.
The final award of the night was the Lifetime Achievement, which went to Graham Court, an unsung hero of the elite development pathway, someone who has served the Ospreys as Team Manager and Administrator within the age-grade set-up since the inception of regional rugby in 2003, following decades of service to grassroots rugby, with Maesteg RFC, Maesteg Harlequins RFC and Central Glamorgan Rugby Union. He has been a positive influence of hundreds of young players, many of whom have gone on to serve the Ospreys, Wales, and the Lions, with distinction.
Graham is only the second recipient of the Lifetime Achievement honour, after the legendary Shane Williams was the inaugural winner.
Roger Blyth, Chairman, Ospreys Rugby, paid tribute to all the winners, saying:
“Everyone honoured this evening can be immensely proud of their efforts. Be it Sam or James at the elite end of the game, Reuben or Owen, two players with huge potential, or true stalwarts of the region like Simon or Graham, they have all contributed to the cause enormously are quite rightly be recognised for their efforts.
“This season’s business is still unfinished and everybody involved at the Ospreys is entirely focussed on what needs to be done over the last two weekends of this campaign. However, it is important that we take time to pause and look at what some of the fantastic talent we have within our organisation are doing. When you look at the people in the room tonight, rugby and commercial staff, or our partners and sponsors, the future for the Ospreys is a positive one.”
Full list of awards:
Most Improved Elite Youth Player of the Year, sponsored by LTC Mobility
Elite Youth Player of the Year, sponsored by Thomsons
Fans’ Player of the Year, sponsored by Morganstone
Ospreys Coaches' Player of the Year, sponsored by Spire Cardiff Hospital
Ospreys Players' Player of the Year, sponsored by Worthington’s
Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Swansea Health Solutions
Winner – Graham Court
Osprey of the Year, sponsored by Sony UK Technology Centre
Winner – Simon Lloyd