FOUR Directors of Rugby who have enjoyed exceptional seasons have been shortlisted for the Guinness Director of Rugby of the Season award.
Mark McCall, the two-time winner from Saracens is bidding for an unprecedented hat-trick alongside Exeter Chiefs’ Rob Baxter, Wasps’ Dai Young and Sale Sharks’ Steve Diamond.
“In Aviva Premiership Rugby, we have some of the best coaches in the world so the judging panel was handed a tough job once again," said Phil Winstanley the Rugby Director at Premiership Rugby.
“This season was the most testing in Premiership Rugby history for our Directors of Rugby and Head Coaches with the late start due to the Rugby World Cup and the challenge of back to back competition in what is already one of the most competitive and intense environments in world rugby. This quartet and all their players have made a significant contribution to a compelling season and fully deserve to make this short list. ”
The shortlist is:
• Rob Baxter – Exeter Chiefs
• Steve Diamond – Sale Sharks
• Mark McCall – Saracens
• Dai Young – Wasps
The shortlist was compiled by a panel of media professionals – Ben Coles (Planet Rugby), Jill Douglas (Freelance), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Chris Hewett (Freelance), Chris Jones (BBC Radio), Stephen Jones (Sunday Times), Robert Kitson (The Guardian), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), and Nick Mullins (BT Sport). They were joined by Paul Morgan (Premiership Rugby's Communications Director) who chaired the panel.
The winner will rub shoulders with the biggest names in English rugby at a glittering ceremony at the London Hilton, Park Lane presented by BT Sport's Craig Doyle.
Along with the winner of the Guinness Director of Rugby of the Season, the winners of the following awards will also be announced on 18 May:
• Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season
• Aviva Community Player of the Season
• BT Sport Dream Team
• Gilbert Golden Boot
• Green Flag Forward of the Season
• Citizen Try of the Season
• Land Rover Discovery of the Season
• Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Player of the Series
• Trivento Top Try Scorer of the Season
• Women's Premiership Players’ Player of the Year
The winner will be announced on Wednesday 18 May at the sold out Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards at the Hilton, Park Lane, and on Twitter via the @premrugby account. Use hashtag #AvivaPremAwards to join the conversation.
* 2014-15 – Mike Ford (Bath Rugby)
* 2013-14 – Mark McCall (Saracens)
* 2012-13 – Mark McCall (Saracens)
* 2011-12 – Rob Baxter (Exeter Chiefs)
* 2010-11 – Jim Mallinder (Northampton Saints)
* 2009-10 – Andy Key (Leeds Carnegie)
* 2008-09 – Richard Cockerill (Leicester Tigers)
* 2007-08 – Dean Ryan (Gloucester Rugby)
* 2006-07 – Pat Howard (Leicester Tigers)
* 2005-06 – Philippe Saint-Andre (Sale Sharks)
* 2004-05 – John Wells (Leicester Tigers)
* 2003-04 – John Connolly (Bath Rugby)
* 2002-03 – Warren Gatland (London Wasps)
* 2001-02 – Conor O'Shea and Brendan Venter (London Irish)
* 2000-01 – Dean Richards (Leicester Tigers)
* 1999-2000 – Andy Robinson (Bath Rugby)