Davies takes PRO12 award

Sam Davies completed a notable hat-trick on Sunday when he was named Guinness PRO12 Young Player of the Year at the end of season awards in Dublin.

It follows on from him receiving the OSC Player of the Year Award and the Players' Player honour at last month's Ospreys annual dinner at the Brangwyn Hall, rounding off a memorable season for the outside half. He was also named in this season's 'Dream Team', the only Welshman present.

Players, coaches and key personnel from all 12 clubs involved in the championship were in attendance at at the Guinness Storehouse to celebrate the 2015/16 season.  The black-tie event followed a memorable round 22 on Saturday that saw Leinster, Connacht, Glasgow Warriors and Ulster qualify for the Guinness PRO12 Play-Offs in less than a fortnight's time.

Connacht, who have been the surprise package of the 15/16 season, collected three awards and made up nearly half of the 'Guinness PRO12 Dream Team'.  The Galway outfit's centre, Bundee Aki, clinched the coveted 'Guinness Players' Player of the Season' – voted for by all 12 captains and vice-captains of the Guinness PRO12 teams – ahead of Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) and CJ Stander (Munster). Their head coach, Pat Lam was named 'Guinness PRO12 Coach of the Season' and captain John Muldoon, who is celebrating his thirteenth professional season at Connacht, was presented the prestigious 'Guinness PRO12 Chairman's Award' by Welsh rugby legend and chairman of PRO12 Rugby, Gerald Davies.

Davies, was voted 'Young Player of the Season' by a selected media panel ahead of Garry Ringrose and Josh van der Flier (both Leinster). 

Fans voted Glasgow Warriors' Tommy Seymour the victor of 'Sky Sports Try of the Season'. The Scottish international polled 28.5% of the vote for his round 18 try against Ulster and pipped Craig Gilroy (Ulster v Treviso, round 3) and Bundee Aki (Munster v Connacht, round 18) to the title.

The battle for the 'Rhino Golden Boot Award' went right down to the wire on the last day of the regular season.  The prize, that is based on the percentage kicking accuracy of all players who have kicked more than 30 attempts at goal, was clinched by Cardiff Blues' Gareth Anscombe with 81.25% (26 successes from 32 attempts) ahead of Scarlets' Steve Shingler (78.37%, 29 success from 37 attempts), Paddy Jackson, Ulster, (77.77%, 49 successes from 63 attempts) and Jason Tovey, Edinburgh, (76.47%, 39 successes from 51 kicks).

Ulster won the 'Specsavers Fair Play Award' and £10,000 to spend on their youth development programme.  The Irish province pipped Ospreys to the top of the Specsavers Fair Play League with just six yellow cards and no citing commissioner warnings, red cards or upheld proven citing complaints. 
The 'Guinness PRO12 Dream Team', voted by a selected media panel from across Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales, saw Connacht dominate the selections with seven of their players making up the chosen 15:

15: Isa Nacewa, Leinster, Captain
14: Matt Healy, Connacht
13: Bundee Aki, Connacht
12: Ben Te'o, Leinster
11: Craig Gilroy, Ulster
10: Sam Davies, Ospreys
9: Kieran Marmion, Connacht
1: Dennis Buckley, Connacht
2: Tom McCartney, Connacht
3: Finlay Bealham, Connacht
4: Leone Nakarawa, Glasgow Warriors
5: Ultane Dillane, Connacht
6: CJ Stander, Munster
7: Josh Van Der Flier, Leinster
8: Cornell du Preez, Edinburgh
Following the end of the regular season, the focus now turns to the season Play-Offs: Leinster v Ulster at RDS Arena, Dublin, on Friday 20 May and Connacht v Glasgow Warriors at The Sportsground, Galway, on Saturday 21 May.  The winners of each match will face each other at the championship's flagship event, the Guinness PRO12 Final, at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 28 May. 
Summary of Guinness PRO12 Awards 2016 Winners:

  • Guinness Players' Player of the Season: Bundee Aki, Connacht
  • Guinness PRO12 Coach of the Season: Pat Lam, Connacht
  • Guinness PRO12 Young Player of the Season: Sam Davies, Ospreys
  • Sky Sports Try of the Season: Tommy Seymour, Glasgow Warriors
  • Specsavers Fair Play Award: Ulster Rugby
  • Rhino Golden Boot: Gareth Anscombe, Cardiff Blues
  • Guinness PRO12 Chairman's Award: John Muldoon, Connacht
  • Guinness PRO12 Dream Team: 15: Isa Nacewa, Leinster, Captain; 14: Matt Healy, Connacht; 13: Bundee Aki, Connacht; 12: Ben Te'o, Leinster; 11: Craig Gilroy, Ulster; 10: Sam Davies, Ospreys; 9: Kieran Marmion, Connacht; 1: Dennis Buckley, Connacht; 2: Tom McCartney, Connacht; 3: Finlay Bealham, Connacht; 4: Leone Nakarawa, Glasgow Warriors; 5: Ultane Dillane, Connacht; 6: CJ Stander, Munster;   7: Josh Van Der Flier, Leinster; 8: Cornell du Preez, Edinburgh