Vereniki Goneva has been named as the Premiership Rugby Player of the Season after a brilliant year in which he helped guide Newcastle Falcons to their first ever play-off appearance.
The Fijian winger, who had already taken his club’s Player of the Season, Player’s Player of the Season and Try of the Season awards, beat out Wasps’ Gloucester bound flyhalf Danny Cipriani, Don Armand of Exeter Chiefs, Sale Sharks’ Faf De Klerk and Jamie Gibson of Northampton Saints to take the award.
Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards said of Goneva: “Niki is a very humble guy who will take no pleasure in being singled out for an individual award because he is very much a team-oriented person, although clearly he will be honoured to receive this accolade.
“Even in a season like we are having it is hard not to single him out when he has performed to such a consistently high level throughout, doing it time and time again, and he is right up there in the world class bracket for me when it comes to finishing.
“He defies the ageing process with the physical condition he keeps himself in, he is a phenomenal athlete but also has a thorough understanding of the game and how he can influence it.
“The way he carries himself as a person is just something else, he is very selfless in everything he does but it’s clear to everyone what an important player he is for Newcastle Falcons as a club and Aviva Premiership Rugby as a competition.”
Richards himself picked up the director of rugby award while Sinoti Sinoti was awarded Try of the Season after a public vote for his score against Exeter Chiefs to cap a memorable night for the Falcons.
England internationals Sam Simmonds and Owen Farrell were also honoured — Simmonds taking home the Discovery of the Year award while Owen Farrell won the Golden Boot after kicking 171 points from the tee this season.