Chris Foy's Premiership review: Ford is the player of the season

PREMIERSHIP REVIEW: Leicester deserved to win the title, George Ford is the player of the season after putting his England frustration aside while team-mate Ollie Chessum is the new sensation

  • Leicester Tigers were crowned champions as the Premiership season finished 
  • Fly-half George Ford produced some impressive displays for Leicester
  • Exeter had been finalists for the last six years, but finished seventh this time
  • Sportsmail‘s Chris Foy reviews the action from an eventful Premiership season

The Premiership season came to a conclusion at the weekend, with Leicester being crowned champions.

In an eventful campaign there were plenty of impressive performers, while the battle for fourth place was absorbing. 

Sportsmail’s Chris Foy reviews all of the action that took place this campaign.

George Ford was the standout performer this season as Leicester won the Premiership title

Stand-out game

In October, Harlequins proved lightning can strike twice with another epic comeback win against Bristol, scoring eight tries and 45 unanswered second-half points to win 52-24.

Grounds for enjoyment

Bath for the backdrop, if you ignore the shabby facilities and local gridlock. Brentford for modern comfort and convenience. Kingsholm for the old Shed fervour. StoneX Stadium for the helpful volunteers.

New sensation

Henry Arundell is the rookie poster-boy but has barely played in the league so a more fitting choice is Leicester forward Ollie Chessum, who earned an England call-up and was a mainstay of the final.

Leicester forward Ollie Chessum was very impressive and earned an England call-up

Leading import

Theo McFarland, the Samoan flanker who came from Dallas and became a major asset in the Saracens back row, with the dexterity of a former international basketball player.

Fond farewell

Faf de Klerk. What an icon the Springbok was for Sale. The scrum-half was a bona fide superstar, who always gave everything and helped develop Raffi Quirke, as a favour to England.

Faf De Klerk was an icon for Sale Sharks; the scrum-half always gave his all for his team

Surprise demise

Exeter had been finalists for the last six years, but their possession game was neutralised and they finished seventh. Time will tell if it is just a blip.

Wreck at The Rec

Bath were often in disarray, starting the season with 10 Premiership defeats. There was internal unrest, a management overhaul and board-level turbulence.

Good business

London Irish have signed Italy prop Danilo Fischetti from Zebre and he is sure to be a pedigree addition. He was outstanding during the Six Nations.

Top talkers

Mercifully, the age of bland platitudes is not universal, thanks to the likes of Alex Sanderson, Rob Baxter, Ellis Genge and Joe Marler. Insight, humour and anecdotes.

Sale Sharks director of rugby Alex Sanderson provided some interesting insights

Drawing masters

Remarkably, five of Irish’s 24 games finished all-square. They turned the late charge to parity into an art form.

Welcome revival

Chris Ashton’s record-breaking exploits for Leicester came after his career appeared to be over when released by Worcester. How he seized the chance to play on.

Favourite interview

Lewis Ludlow, the Gloucester captain, speaks from the heart and an hour in his company showed that he is a natural, passionate, loyal leader.

Gloucester captain Lewis Ludlow showed that he is a natural, passionate and loyal leader

Fine margins

The battle for fourth place was absorbing. Northampton nicked a one-point win over Quins the week after Gloucester went down by a point at Bristol, to shade it.

Best pre-match music

‘Madchester’ memories at Sale. For those of a certain age, the sounds of the city made for Happy Saturdays and Sundays.

Promising appointment

Simon Massie-Taylor as chief executive of Premiership Rugby. At last, the organisation has a progressive figurehead.

Simon Massie-Taylor’s appointment as Premiership Rugby chief executive was a positive step

Damp squib

The messy season structure and no relegation jeopardy meant too many hollow fixtures and excessive gaps between games in the last two months.

Player of the Season

George Ford. The fly-half put aside his England frustration to steer Leicester through the season, keeping them on top of the pile all the way. Majestic.

Fairytale finish

Freddie Burns’ sheer joy and disbelief at the end of Saturday’s final was infectious. His day in the sun proved that good things do happen to good people.

Justice done

Leicester were in first from September until June, finished top of the table and won the title. That seems like a fitting outcome.

Leicester were in first from September until June, finished top of the table and won the title

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article