Jack Willis: Wasps flanker voted Rugby Player’s Association Player of the Year

Wasps flanker Jack Willis has been voted Rugby Players’ Association Player of the Year, beating Bristol openside Ben Earl and Exeter fly-half Joe Simmonds to the prize.

Willis, 23, was also nominated for Young Player of the Year, but that award went to Gloucester winger Louis Rees-Zammit, with Willis’s Wasps team-mate Jacob Umaga the other to miss out.

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Willis has become the league’s most effective player at the breakdown, forcing a remarkable 44 turnovers this season – 25 more than any other player in the Gallagher Premiership.

In a statement, Willis said: “It’s an incredible honour to win this award and for it to be voted by all the players and teams that I’ve played against, and my peers, makes it even more special.

“It’s something that I’m extremely proud of and something that later in life will bring me enormous pride and be a highlight of my career.”

The performances from Willis have helped propel Wasps into the Premiership final against Exeter on Saturday, October 24, having finished just three points behind last season’s runners-up.

Willis scored one of five Wasps tries as they beat Bristol 47-24 in the semi-final, with England head coach Eddie Jones watching on from the stands.

Sale flanker Tom Curry was named England men’s Player of the Year and lock Zoe Aldcroft of Gloucester took the women’s award.

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