It's certainly been a few days to remember for Saracens as they followed up their maiden European Champions Cup success by picking up a hat-trick of prizes at the Premiership end of season Awards on Wednesday night.
It’s certainly been a few days to remember for Saracens as they followed up their maiden European Champions Cup success by picking up a hat-trick of prizes at the Premiership end of season Awards on Wednesday night.
Just four days on from starring as Saracens down Racing 92 21-9 in Lyon, full-back Alex Goode was the toast of the town as he was named the Premiership Player of the Season.
The 28-year-old has been involved in a tussle with Mike Brown for the starting England full-back spot but his domestic form this season was rewarded with the top playing gong on offer, much to his delight.
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“It’s been an unbelievable few days for me,” he said. “First and foremost, to win the Champions Cup was so special for everyone involved but for me as well I have picked up the ultimate award.
“To win the Premiership Player of the Season award is incredible and I am humbled to have picked it up.
“There are so many world-class players in the Premiership and the list of names on the shortlist was incredible so it means a lot to me.
“Over the last couple of years I have really grown in confidence and managed to get more and more involved with Saracens in terms of games and I just feel in a really good place and I have great players around me which makes it even easier.”
Saracens finished the regular season top of the Premiership table and ahead of a crunch semi-final with Leicester Tigers were celebrating another two awards as Mark McCall won director of rugby of the season and Maro Itoje collected the discovery of the season gong.
?trick of awards for @Saracens and what a player @Alex_goode0 has been this season. Well done Goodey ? https://t.co/YWx5cWy0g3
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) May 18, 2016
Elsewhere, Australian George Smith – who has played against the British & Irish Lions in 2001 and 2013 – won the Forward of the Season for his form in a Wasps shirt.
Mako Vunipola, a member of the victorious British & Irish Lions squad from 2013, was also named in the Premiership Team of the Year, but there was no doubting that Goode was the star of the show as he staked his claim for a regular starting role for England’s summer tour to Australia.
Joe is a no go
However, one player who won’t be available to England head coach Eddie Jones is Joe Marler after the prop made himself unavailable for the trip Down Under.
Jones will name his squad to take on Wales and then subsequently tour Australia this Sunday, May 22.
But the Harlequins prop will not be amongst the travelling party.
"Whenever you play for England, you have to be 100 per cent," said the 42-times capped international.
"Unfortunately I'm not in that place. I would be letting my team-mates and country down if I were to tour."