Schoeman wins Player of the Year
Prop Pierre Schoeman was the toast of the evening at the annual Edinburgh Rugby End of Season Awards last night where the players, coaches, staff and their partners gathered to look back on an eventful season.
Not only was the South African named Best Newcomer, but he also picked up the coveted Player of the Year accolade for his consistent performances across the club’s Guinness PRO14 and Heineken Champions Cup campaigns.
In a year when the team returned to the Heineken Champions Cup for the first time since 2014, made the Quarter-Final stages of the tournament for the third time in the club’s history and retained the 1872 Cup for the fourth time in five years, there was plenty to be proud of throughout the evening.
The awards dinner also recognised the service of Edinburgh’s departing players and staff.
Best Newcomer – Pierre Schoeman
There was little surprise to see South African prop Pierre Schoeman pick up the first award of the evening, given to the player who’s made the biggest impact in their first season at the club. Schoeman has been an instant starter since joining the club from Blue Bulls in the summer, while his Man of the Match performance against Glasgow Warriors in December’s 1872 Cup second leg was integral to the capital side retaining the historic trophy.
Ironman – Juan Pablo Socino
The Ironman Award – presented by Head of Strength & Conditioning, Nick Lumley – was this year given to Juan Pablo Socino. The Argentinian centre – who joined the club from Newcastle Falcons in the summer – has consistently been the best trainer at the club throughout the 2018/19 season.
Most Improved Player – James Johnstone
From a core Scotland 7s player to an integral part of Edinburgh’s starting XV, Johnstone was this year named Edinburgh’s Most Improved Player.
With six tries in 23 appearances this season, James Johnstone has been almost ever-present in Edinburgh’s No.13 jersey, while his nose for the try line has seen the centre pick up two Glen Moray Try of the Month Awards.
Young Player of the Year – Darcy Graham
It has been a hugely successful campaign for Hawick man, Darcy Graham. After making his Scotland debut against Wales in the 2018 Autumn Tests, the winger went onto enjoy a tremendous 2019 Guinness Six Nations, which included a brace of tries in the Calcutta Cup retaining draw at Twickenham.
On the domestic front, Graham’s rise to prominence has seen the winger become one of the capital side’s deadliest try-scorers, as his back-to-back scores in the Heineken Champions Cup wins over RC Toulon and Montpellier showed.
Players’ Player of the Year – Viliame Mata
What a year it has been for Big Bill Mata. A nominee for European Player of the Year and the deliverer of devastating offloads that have taken the Heineken Champions Cup by storm. Commentators have undoubtedly run out of superlatives to describe the Fijian’s fine talents.
Player of the Year – Pierre Schoeman
With his second award of the evening – and as voted by the coaching staff – Pierre Schoeman is the 2018/19 Player of the Year. A consistent performer, who has shown dedication to the jersey, his teammates and the club’s supporters, the South African is thoroughly deserving of the prestigious award that was won last year by club captain Stuart McInally.