Sam Simmonds has been crowned the Premiership Rugby Player of the Season for 2020-21.
The award caps off a remarkable campaign for the Exeter Chiefs’ star, in which he broke the record for the most tries in a single Premiership Rugby season, with 20.
He has been instrumental in another fine year for the Chiefs, who finished second in the table, booking a semi-final place and keeping alive their hopes of retaining the title.
The Torquay-born back-rower had already been recognised for an outstanding season with a call-up by the British & Irish Lions for their summer tour to South Africa, and he has now capped that feat with the prestigious Gallagher Player of the Season gong.
Simmonds crossed for a hat-trick against London Irish in May, to break Christian Wade’s and Dominic Chapman’s Premiership Rugby try-scoring record for a single season.
Simmonds edged out Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith to win the award, with the latter selected as the runner-up.
Smith continued his remarkable rise with a brilliant year at The Stoop, finishing the regular season as the highest points-scoring individual in the entire league.
The 22-year-old scored 270 points in total, 82 more than Sale Sharks’ AJ MacGinty who was next in the rankings.
An elusive and dangerous runner, Smith has once again been one of the most exciting players to watch in the Gallagher Premiership, as Quins prepare for a return to the semi-finals.
Another Chief - Dave Ewers - was third. Ewers has also played a big part in his team’s success this season, chipping in with six crucial tries of his own.