Connacht's Bundee Aki named PRO12 Players' Player of the Year
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 09/05/16 3:14pm
Connacht led the way at the Guinness PRO12 awards in Dublin on Sunday night where Bundee Aki was named Players' Player of the Year.
The Irish province won three of the individual awards up for grabs at the Guinness Storehouse and seven of their players were named in the Guinness PRO12 Dream Team.
Connacht were the surprise packages of the 2015-16 season and a 14-7 win over Glasgow in their final game saw them finish in second behind Leinster to secure a play-off place.
They will take on the Warriors again on May 21 in Galway, with Leinster and Ulster facing off in the other semi-final a day earlier in Dublin. The final takes place at Murrayfield on May 28.
Aki had already been named as Connacht's player of the year, by both fans and his team-mates, after an outstanding season that saw him score six tries in 26 appearances.
He beat off competition from Glasgow's Stuart Hogg and Munster's CJ Stander in the vote, which is made up of the league's 12 captains and vice-captains.
Pat Lam was named Coach of the Year for leading Connacht to second and club captain John Muldoon was the recipient of the Guinness PRO12 Chairman's Award.
Ospreys' fly-half Sam Davies was voted Young Player of the Season by a selected media panel ahead of Leinster pair Garry Ringrose and Josh van der Flier.
Glasgow Warriors' Tommy Seymour won the Sky Sports Try of the Season award, polling 28.5 per cent of the vote for his round 18 try against Ulster - he pipped Craig Gilroy (Ulster v Treviso, round 3) and Aki (Munster v Connacht, round 18) to the title.
Cardiff Blues fly-half Gareth Anscombe won the Rhino Golden Boot Award and Ulster won the Specsavers Fair Play Award, receiving £10,000 to spend on their youth development programme.
Guinness PRO12 Dream Team: 15: Isa Nacewa (Leinster, capt); 14 Matt Healy (Connacht); 13 Bundee Aki (Connacht); 12 Ben Te'o (Leinster); 11 Craig Gilroy (Ulster); 10 Sam Davies (Ospreys); 9 Kieran Marmion (Connacht); 1 Dennis Buckley (Connacht); 2 Tom McCartney (Connacht); 3 Finlay Bealham (Connacht); 4 Leone Nakarawa (Glasgow); 5 Ultane Dillane (Connacht); 6 CJ Stander (Munster); 7 Josh Van Der Flier (Leinster); 8 Cornell du Preez (Edinburgh).