Fussell doubles up at Ospreys awards

Richard Fussell took the honours with a double award at the Ospreys End of Season Awards Night at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The 27-year old has made a huge impression in his first season at the region, making 27 appearances and scoring eight tries, featuring on the wing and at fullback.

His consistency over the course of the season was recognised by both the coaches and the supporters at the region, with Fussell presented with the Worthington’s Fans Player of the Year and the Veolia Coaches Player of the Year. The voting in the fans award saw Ryan Jones coming a close second, just ahead of third placed Justin Tipuric, who also came third in the coaches award, just behind Nikki Walker.

Speaking about his memorable double, Fussell commented: “It’s unbelievable. I certainly wasn’t expecting this. I just do my job on the field, and to pick up these awards is the icing on the cake really. I just try to do my best and I’m pleased that’s been recognised by the fans and the coaches.

“To be honest, I’ve never really picked up awards like this before but since coming to the Ospreys I’ve improved my game so much, which has resulted in me getting these awards. It’s something special for me.”

It was to be third time lucky for Tipuric though, who received the votes of his team-mates, marking his first ever season of senior rugby with the Doors Warehouse Players Player of the Year award. It was an award based on votes throughout the season, a campaign where he has made 25 appearances and became the second youngest Ospreys captain ever. Fussell and Walker tied for second place, with Ashley Beck coming in just behind them in the vote. It marked a unique double for Trebanos product Tipuric after he took last year’s Elite Youth Development Player award.

Following in Tipuric’s footsteps were a pair of U18’s who also picked up awards. Prop Daniel Suter received the Jewson Most Improved Elite Youth Development Player award, while fly-half Sam Davies was voted Lliw Building Supplies Elite Youth Development Player of the Year.

In addition to the awards, there was also official acknowledgment of a number of achievements by Ospreys players throughout the 2010/11 campaign, including debuts and the 50 and 100 cap landmarks, while James Hook was recognised for setting a new Ospreys all-time points record of 793.

The final award of the night was the RWE nPower Renewables Osprey of the Year. Judged by members of the senior management team from various departments of the organisation, the award recognises the person who has given the most to the Ospreys on or off the field over the course of the season, giving the most to the Ospreys culture while offering support and/or assistance to players, management and staff while maintaining the highest professional standards at all times.

All players, management and staff members were eligible for the award, which went to Damian Karauna in recognition of his efforts and commitment as C Group coach, working with the next generation of Ospreys from 7am each morning in addition to his full-time role as video analyst with the region.

Speaking after the Awards Ceremony, Chief Operations Officer Andrew Hore said: “It gives me enormous pleasure to be able to talk about the worthy winners who have been recognised tonight. We still have an enormous game to go at the weekend, with a place in the play-offs still very much up for grabs, but it is important that we take the opportunity to reflect on, and pay tribute to, the achievements of individuals over the course of the season.”

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