Exeter Chiefs could yet be celebrating their maiden Aviva Premiership Rugby crown on 28 May, but fly-half Gareth Steenson might also have individual honours to cheer as he closes in on the 2015-16 Gilbert Golden Boot this weekend.
The Gilbert Golden Boot is one of the most hotly-contested prizes in Aviva Premiership Rugby and is awarded to the leading goal kicker during the regular season.
And as impressive as Chiefs have been in their all-round game this season, the same can also be said for Steenson who has amassed an impressive 207 points from the boot this season, including a total of 81 successful kicks.
Exeter Chiefs’ semi-final spot might be secure ahead of their final regular-season game with Harlequins at the Stoop, but Steenson will not want to slow down as he bids to take the title won last year by stalwart Andy Goode.
Gilbert Golden Boot Top 3
1. Gareth Steenson (Exeter Chiefs) – 207
2. Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks) – 162
3. Jimmy Gopperth (Wasps) – 160
This game could see Steenson go up against a fellow No.10 who has impressed this season – yet again – Kiwi Nick Evans.
The Harlequins’ veteran has the best accuracy in Aviva Premiership Rugby with a success rate of 87.10 per cent, having been successful with 54 of his 62 attempts at bisecting the posts.
He has also been successful with his last nine attempts and sits on 138 points this season and fifth in the standings, impressive considering he broke his leg in February and missed a huge chunk of the season.
Instead, the chase to catch Steenson has been lead by Sale Sharks’ talisman Danny Cipriani, who has amassed a personal haul of 162 points. This total includes a successful 62 kicks at goal from 100 attempts for an accuracy of 62 per cent.
Wasps’ Jimmy Gopperth currently occupies third spot. 65 successful kicks at goal – at a success rate of 78.31 per cent – have seen him amass a total of 160 points.
Gopperth will be looking for more of the same as Wasps welcome London Irish to the Ricoh on Saturday, while Cipriani will be keen to stay ahead of him as Sale travel to Newcastle Falcons.
Andy Challis, Gilbert Rugby Brand Manager, commented "The Gilbert Golden boot is a prestigious award, always hotly contested among the best kickers in the country and one that we are delighted to have a longstanding association with. Legends of the game such as Michael Lynagh already have their name etched on the trophy and on 18 May, at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards, we look forward to handing over the golden boot to this season’s winner."
If you want to be at the world’s biggest club rugby final, this year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is on 28 May at Twickenham, tickets are available from premiershiprugby.com/final.