Sam Simmonds and Poppy Cleall named Rugby Players' Association players of the year

Sam Simmonds has been in prolific form this season
Sam Simmonds has been in prolific form this season

Exeter Chiefs star Sam Simmonds has been crowned Rugby Players' Association men's player of the year following his stellar performance in the ongoing season.

Simmonds has been in top form in the 2020/21 season and has already broken the Premiership record for most tries in a single season with 20 touchdowns and has covered 908 metres apart from being fourth and fifth in most tackles made and defenders beaten respectively.

His stellar performances for Exeter Chiefs saw him included in the British and Irish Lions' squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa.

“This award in particular means a lot. The way that it is picked and the way you get nominated is from players that you play against every week and throughout the season,” said Simmonds, who went on to complete a double win with Exeter last season.

“So for them to recognise and notice that I have been having a strong season is fantastic and I appreciate that.

“Once the season is over – hopefully after a few more wins – then I can look back both individually and as part of the team and feel good about what we have achieved.”

Meanwhile, Poppy Cleall, who was named the Player of the Championship in the Women's Six Nations earlier this year has been named the Rugby Players' Association women's player of the year while Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith has been announced as the young player of the year.