WATCH: Teams put rivalries aside for Guinness Pro12 Rugby Awards
Ulster winger Charles Piutau has been voted the Guinness PRO12 Players’ Player of the Season at the Guinness PRO12 Awards in Dublin on Sunday evening.
Piutau, who was nominated for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season with Wasps last season, moved to Ulster at the start of this campaign where he has scored six tries in 18 league starts for the province.
Piutau led the Pro 12 in defenders beaten (74) and offloads (29), while also leading Ulster in metres gained (2,067), carries (317) and clean breaks (35).
The New Zealand international was also named to the Pro 12's Dream Team, where he was joined by outgoing Ulster teammate Ruan Pienaar and Irish internationals Tiernan O'Halloran, Jack Conan, Dan Leavy, Billy Holland, John Ryan and Dave Kilcoyne.
Elsewhere Leinster's Joey Carbery was named Young Player of the season which was voted for by a 30-strong media panel from across Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Munster were the big winners on the night with six players named to the Guinness PRO12 Dream Team while Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, was named as Coach of the Season after returning the province to the Semi-Finals of the Championship.
2015/16 champions, Connacht, won the Specsavers Fair Play Award which was accepted by captain John Muldoon, who made his 300th appearance for the province this season. Connacht will receive €11,795 to put towards their youth development programme.
The Rhino Golden Boot was won by Ospreys Rugby’s Sam Davies who finished the season with an 88% success rate from the kicking tee having made 44 of his 50 shots at goal.
Ruan Pienaar’s score for Ulster against Glasgow in Round 15 was voted by readers of Independent.ie as the Try of the Season with the Springbok scrum-half starting and finishing a magnificent team effort:
List of Award winners:
Specsavers Fair Play Award – Connacht Rugby
Top Try-Scorer – Steff Evans (Scarlets)
Rhino Golden Boot – Sam Davies (Ospreys Rugby)
Young Player of the Season – Joey Carbery (Leinster Rugby)
Independent.ie Try of the Season – Ruan Pienaar (Ulster Rugby)
Dream Team Captain – Ken Owens (Scarlets)
Guinness PRO12 Coach of the Season – Rassie Erasmus (Munster Rugby)
Guinness PRO12 Players’ Player of the Season – Charles Piutau (Ulster Rugby)
Guinness PRO12 Chairman’s Award – Nigel Owens MBE
Guinness PRO12 Dream Team 2016/17:
15 Tiernan O’Halloran (Connacht Rugby)
14 Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors)
13 Jaco Taute (Munster Rugby)
12 Rory Scannell (Munster Rugby)
11 Charles Piutau (Ulster Rugby)
10 Tyler Bleyendaal (Munster Rugby)
9 Ruan Pienaar (Ulster Rugby)
8 Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby)
7 James Davies (Scarlets)
6 Dan Leavy (Leinster Rugby)
5 Billy Holland (Munster Rugby)
4 Ben Toolis (Edinburgh Rugby)
3 John Ryan (Munster Rugby)
2 Ken Owens, Captain (Scarlets)
1 Dave Kilcoyne (Munster Rugby)