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Premiership Rugby

Leonard receives top Zurich award

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The veteran England and NEC Harlequins prop has been capped more than 100 times and will travel to the World Cup with hopes of breaking the world record for international appearances of 111 held by Philippe Sella of France.

London Wasps coach Warren Gatland receives the Zurich Director of Rugby Awards for the 2002/20003 season for having steered his team to the Zurich Premiership title and Parker Pen Challenge Cup.

Gloucester captain Jake Boer adds the Zurich Overseas Player of the Season award to Zurich Premiership Player of the Season award he won back in May, whilst clubmate James Forrester receives the Zurich Young Player of the Season award.

The winner of each award category was selected from a short-list by a panel of judges that includes David Hands of the Times, Paul Ackford of the Sunday Telegraph and Miles Harrison of Sky Sports.

The awards were presented during England's Rugby World Cup gala dinner send-off at Twickenham on Wednesday.

Zurich Outstanding Contribution to Rugby AwardJason Leonard (NEC Harlequins and England)

Zurich Director of Rugby of the Season 2002/03Warren Gatland (London Wasps)Nominees: Phil Davies (Leeds Tykes) and Nigel Melville (Gloucester)

Zurich Young Player of the Season 2002/03James Forrester (Gloucester)Nominees: Marcel Garvey (Gloucester) and Chris Jones (Sale Sharks)

Zurich Overseas Player of the Season 2002/03Jake Boer (Gloucester)Nominees: Andrew Blowers (Northampton Saints) and Craig Dowd (London Wasps)

Zurich England Rugby Unsung Hero of the Season 2002/03Vernon Neve-Dunn (Southwark Tigers)Nominees: Chris Derward-Ackhurst (Saracens) and Eric Fields (Staffordshire)This award recognises the hard work and dedication by individuals who labour behind the scenes at rugby clubs at all levels.The award was voted for by representatives of Premier Rugby and the RFU.

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