U.S. Markets open in 3 hrs 59 mins

Gloucester's Danny Cipriani named Premiership Rugby Player of the Season

Samuel Lovett

Danny Cipriani has been named the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Season following a stellar debut campaign at Gloucester.

The 31-year-old, who joined last summer from Wasps, played a pivotal role for the side this season as they finished third in the table, reaching the semi-finals for the first time in eight years.

Head coach Johan Ackermann believes Cipriani is fully deserving of the accolade, making him only the second person after Wasps’ Jimmy Gopperth to win this and the RPA Player of the Year in the same campaign.

"I’m very pleased and so happy for Danny," said Ackermann. "I’m so proud of him - it’s always a big thing when a player joins a club and there’s a bit of pressure on you to perform.

"You have to adapt to the style of the team and the coaches involved, and I can only speak highly of Danny’s commitment to the team.

"He’s set-up into the culture, he’s open - we have a good relationship where we’re open with each other and of course he’s made a serious impact on the field.

"He’s probably got the best skill I’ve seen from a fly-half from an attacking point of view, he can kick well and he’s extremely fast. He knows what he wants in attack and his distribution is top class.

"He’s made an immediate impact and the players around him got the benefit, but also Danny is the one who will always acknowledge the pack in front of him and the players around him, and how they’ve helped him and provided opportunities."

Ackermann himself was also in the running for a prize at Wednesday evening’s Premiership Rugby Awards, finding himself on the shortlist for the Ricoh Director of Rugby of the Season.

However, the gong went to SaracensMark McCall, his achievement of finishing second in the League, winning a third European title in three years and finishing as runners-up in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Mark McCall was named as director of the season (Getty Images)

He pipped Ackermann, Exeter Chiefs’ Rob Baxter, Chris Boyd of Northampton Saints and Bristol Bears’ Pat Lam to the prize.

The Land Rover Discovery of the Season award was taken home by 20-year-old Tom Curry of Sale Sharks.

While Curry’s career is still in its infancy, there was a special reward on the night for Richard Wigglesworth who this season surpassed Steve Borthwick on the all-time appearance list. The veteran scrum-half has now made 274 top-flight appearances.

The BT Sport team of the year was also announced:

15. Alex Goode – Saracens

14. Santiago Cordero – Exeter Chiefs

13. Henry Slade – Exeter Chiefs

12. Mark Atkinson – Gloucester Rugby

11. Ollie Thorley – Gloucester Rugby

10. Danny Cipriani – Gloucester Rugby

9. Cobus Reinach – Northampton Saints

1. Mako Vunipola – Saracens

2. Jamie George – Saracens

3. John Afoa – Bristol Bears

4. Franco Mostert – Gloucester Rugby

5. Will Skelton – Saracens

6. Alex Dombrandt – Harlequins

7. Tom Curry – Sale Sharks

8. Matt Kvesic – Exeter Chiefs