Jimmy Gopperth, right, chases Ruan Pienaar, left. in a 2005 match. Gopperth was named player of the year. Photo: AP

Wasps’ Gopperth wins honour as rugby player of the year

Wasps fly-half Jimmy Gopperth was named the Player’s Player of the Year by the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) on Wednesday, after a stellar season that has propelled his side to the top of the Aviva Premiership.

The 33-year-old Kiwi Gopperth finished the 22-game league season as the top scorer with 266 points, playing a key role in the Wasps’ quest to win their first Premiership title since 2007-08.

He fended off competition from team mates Elliot Daly and Christian Wade, Northampton Saints forward Louis Picamoles and Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell.

Jimmy Gopperth (L) of New Zealand's Auckland Blues is tackled by Sarel Pretorius of South Africa's Cheetahs during their Super 14 rugby match in Auckland, on March 13, 2009. Gopperth was named player of the yearin the sport. Photo: Reuters

“I’m very humbled and surprised to win this award and I am even more proud for the recognition shown by my fellow players,” Gopperth, a former junior All Black, said in a statement.

“I am very lucky to be part of such a driven and successful club, and my teammates deserve this award as much as I do.

“I’m sure I will look back at this moment down the track and be extremely proud.”


Having played a crucial role in Saracen’s push for domestic silverware, Farrell was named the England Player of the Year, while Bath Rugby’s Zach Mercer picked up the Young Player of the Year award.