Five players have been shortlisted for the RPA players’ player of the year award.
The RPA Players’ Player of the Year Award in association with England Rugby recognises the outstanding player of the domestic season as voted by the players.
It is among the highest accolades in the English game. Goneva himself won the award in 2014, while for Simmonds it is a second nomination at this year’s awards.
Exeter pair Don Armand and Sam Simmonds are joined by Vereniki Goneva, Sinoti Sinoti as well as Telusa Veainu on the shortlist.
The winner will be announced at the RPA players’ awards dinner on Wednesday 9 May with tickets for the event available here.
Don Armand (Exeter Chiefs) said: “It’s an unbelievably special award to be nominated for considering it’s voted by the guys we play week in week out. I am extremely grateful for the nomination and very thankful for their support.”
Vereniki Goneva (Newcastle Falcons) (was named the RPA Players’ Player in 2014) added: “It’s a great honour and I am very humbled to be nominated by my fellow players for this award. I never thought I would be nominated for this award again as there are so many young and talented players throughout the Premiership this season.”
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs) (Also nominated for Young Player of the Year): “To be recognised for such a distinguished award is an enormous feeling and I am so thankful for the support I have received from my fellow players. To also be nominated for the Young Player of the Year is a very proud feeling and all credit must go to my Exeter teammates and coaches.”
Sinoti Sinoti (Newcastle Falcons): “I’m so honoured to be recognised in this way and want to say thank you to all my peers for the nomination. I love playing for Newcastle and have enjoyed what we have been able to achieve so far this season. Hopefully this nomination is just the start of something special.”
Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers): “I am pretty shocked to be nominated but also extremely grateful to my peers for the support. I must give credit to my Leicester teammates and coaches for giving me the opportunity to perform to my best and allowing me to go out on the pitch and do my thing.”