Aviva Premiership
England trio to Aviva Premiership Player of the Year shortlist
Tom Hamilton
May 11, 2015
Billy Vunipola makes a run
Billy Vunipola makes a run© David Rogers/Getty Images

England trio Billy Vunipola, George Ford and Jonathan Joseph head up the five-man shortlist for Aviva Premiership Player of the Season.

In a youthful group, Joseph is the oldest turning 24 this month and the England trio are joined by Wasps duo Nathan Hughes and Elliot Daly. Ford and Joseph excelled for England in the 2015 Six Nations and have enjoyed impressive seasons at Bath, helping the club to secure a home Premiership semi-final.

Versatile back Daly is still uncapped but he could yet feature in England's World Cup training squad which will be confirmed next week. Hughes is also up for Forward of the Season and he has had an eye-catching season at No.8 for Wasps.

And Vunipola, who was named Land Rover Discovery of the Season last term, has been superb for Saracens this season. On the international front he lost his No.8 place in the team during the autumn internationals but re-established himself in the starting line-up for the Six Nations, following Ben Morgan's injury, and was singled out for praise by coach Andy Farrell for his performances in the championship.

"As in all other seasons, the task of identifying any single individual performer in the Aviva Premiership is a tough one. This year is no different and the panel has identified some outstanding players. What is so striking this year is the relatively young age of these players," said Phil Winstanley, the rugby director at Premiership Rugby.

"There has been significant investment of time and resource by Premiership Rugby and the RFU, so it isn't surprising to see so many young, talented English players grace this list alongside Fijian Nathan Hughes."

The winner will be announced on May 20th at the end-of-season Aviva Premiership Awards.

© Tom Hamilton

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