Bennett named Scottish Building Society Player of the Season
Scotland international centre Mark Bennett scooped the top prize at this evening’s Edinburgh Rugby End of Season Awards dinner as he was named Scottish Building Society Player of the Season for 2021/22.
Bennett picked up the final award of the evening as Edinburgh Rugby celebrated an historic year in the club’s history, in which the team lifted the first-ever Scottish x Italian Shield, claimed back the 1872 Cup and secured Heineken Champions Cup rugby for next season – all in the club’s first campaign at the newly-built DAM Health Stadium.
Bennett enjoyed a resurgent season in the capital midfield – finishing the year with eight tries in 18 appearances – while the outside-centre made a welcome return to the international stage as he featured in Six Nations Tests against France and Ireland.
Head Coach Mike Blair said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see Mark [Bennett] named Scottish Building Society Player of the Season after a brilliant year in which he was one of our most consistent and impressive performers.
“Mark was pretty candid in the fact Edinburgh fans hadn’t seen the best of him in the last few years due to injury but he was absolutely back to his best this season and I think that was evident in the way he provided a constant attacking spark with his line-breaking and carrying skills.
“Looking back at the season, there were so many games where Mark’s contributions made the difference. January’s home win against Cardiff was a match in which he cut them apart with nearly every run, while you only had to look at his try against Ulster last month which got us right back into the contest.
“Mark deserves all the plaudits he gets this year. He’s really stepped up to become an influential leader in this squad.”
Check out a full wrap-up of tonight’s End of Season Awards below as six more players picked up trophies on the night.
Glen Moray Players’ Player of the Season
Emiliano Boffelli was voted Glen Moray Players’ Player of the Season after a hugely impressive debut campaign in the Scottish capital.
The Argentine internationalist has made an instant impact since arriving in November, coupling his aerial ability with courageous defence and skilled place-kicking.
Boffelli was last week named in the Pumas squad to face Scotland this summer, so Edinburgh fans can expect to see plenty more of the man they call ‘Boff’ in the coming weeks.
Breadalbane Finance Young Player of the Season
Ben Muncaster (20) picked up Breadalbane Young Player of the Season following a successful breakout campaign in the capital back-row.
After featuring in 15 games this season – stepping up from one appearance last year – the abrasive flanker / number 8 made his mark with every minute on the park and now looks set to challenge for a starting spot in hugely competitive positional group.
Equity Gap Most Improved Player
Connor Boyle was named Equity Gap Most Improved Player, capping off an excellent season for the home grown openside flanker.
The capital-born academy graduate made 16 appearances in 2021/22 – scoring three tries – with his ability at the breakdown so often a thorn in the side for Edinburgh’s opponents.
Breadalbance Finance Man of Steel (Best Defender)
Marshall Sykes picked up Breadalbane Finance Man of Steel for his work rate across the park and sheer tenacity in defence.
The Scotland international lock has become a key player for the capital side since make the switch from Glasgow Warriors in 2020, with Sykes a fan-favourite due to his all-or-nothing style of play.
CBS Consulting Leadership Award
Henry Pyrgos picked up the first-ever CBS Consulting Leadership Award, paying tribute to the scrum-half’s experience and influence on the squad.
Pyrgos has been back to his best in 2021/22 and grabbed a well-taken try in Saturday’s URC Final Eight defeat to DHL Stormers in Cape Town.
Pierre Schoeman picked up the only fan-voted award of the evening: The Caullie Lug
Named after – and moulded by – the ‘cauliflower ear’ of club legend Allan Jacobsen, the award is given to the player that showed the most commitment to the jersey throughout the season.
Having recently signed a new long-term deal with the club, fan favourite Schoeman took home the award presented by the Edinburgh Rugby Fans Group after a series of hugely impressive performances for the capital side.