Stars in line for awards at WRPA end of season

Tommy Bowe, Aled Brew, Bradley Davies and Xavier Rush are all competing for the prestigious WRPA Players' Player of the Season Award to be announced at the end of season ceremony on Tuesday 18 May.

The Awards are marking the re-launch of the Welsh Rugby Players' Association (WRPA), the trade union body for professional rugby players in Wales.

The final results will not be announced until the event, but the WRPA have announced that the voting has been very close.

"Recognition by colleagues is the highest accolade for any player", said Dean Sheehan, General Secretary of the WRPA. "To be nominated by those who appreciate fully and share what you go through day in day out is the biggest honour".

Bradley Davies has also been nominated for the Players' Young Player of the Season in recognition of his monumental achievements for the Blues and Wales. The young lock is in the running with Ken Owens of the Scarlets and the Dragons' Jason Tovey.

The awards for Try of the Season and Team of the Season will be voted for by a panel of BBC experts.

"The voting has been very close" said Sheehan. "Players were not permitted to vote for players from their own Region. We felt this would be the fairest way for the players to put loyalties to one side and really think about who has impressed them this year".

The event takes place at the Holland House Hotel on Tuesday 18 May. "The WRPA has been through a difficult period in 2009. But we are now focused and ready to set about growing the brand and providing rugby players in Wales with a voice and a platform to develop their careers both on and off the pitch. We want to engage the Welsh rugby community and ensure that the welfare of rugby players in Wales is the top priority at all times".

The WRPA is run by an Executive Committee which is made up of two players from each Region - Gethin Jenkins and Rob Sowden-Taylor (Blues), Luke Charteris and Ashley Smith (Dragons), Jonathan Thomas and Duncan Jones (Ospreys) and Mark Jones and Rob Higgitt (Scarlets).