So here they are, our nominations and your chance to vote for your players of the season. There will naturally be choices you disagree with, so feel free to let us know in the comments section. And don’t forget to vote!
POLLS ARE NOW CLOSED
Player of the Season:
Chris Fusaro (Glasgow) Probably the most unlucky not to be on the summer tour, Fusaro had a storming season in Glasgow colours. His trademarks: tenacity, never backing down and tackling anything that twitches. Such a good season that John Barclay had to convert to a utility back-row to get a game.
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow) Burst on to the scene with a flash and a dash, followed quickly in his next game by a try, hitherto a rare beast for Scotland fans to gaze on. So exciting even Jonathan Davies had to express grudging admiration.
Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh) All action when Edinburgh were on the front foot, Laidlaw knows how to run a game and how to claim points. Masterly against Toulouse, and quickly learning the ropes at international level.
Pat MacArthur (Glasgow) Like Fusaro, unlucky not to be on tour to Australia, MacArthur has been a mainstay in Glasgow’s pack. Arguably their first choice hooker now, the Ayr product is likely to break into blue sometime soon.
Ross Rennie (Edinburgh) An outstanding season for both Edinburgh and Scotland with ball in hand and the ball in the opposition’s hands (but not for long), perhaps marred only by that blown overlap.
Young Player / Best Newcomer:
David Denton (Edinburgh) Abrasive to the point of bullying sometimes, Denton is now Scotland’s recognised close quarter ball-carrier. Perhaps needs to add a few more strings to his bow but many look forward to his collisions. Apart from those that have to tackle him.
Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) In the tail-end of the season Glasgow relied heavily on Dunbar’s challenging runs and healthy disrespect for would-be tacklers. Like the quintessential impact player Arg (as he is known) took it upon himself to drag the Warriors over the gainline and into the playoffs.
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow) Already highly rated throughout Britain in his first pro season this youngster has made a name for himself, sharpish. In an era where Scotland have been crying out for players with confidence and the skill to back it up, Hogg is able to change feet and direction rapidly. Fond of taking play on himself, he has grown into the starlet that has nailed his name on as Scotland’s 15.
Matt Scott (Edinburgh) Edinburgh took a risk this year by breaking the mould and employing two rapiers in midfield, rather than the fashionable rapier and mallet combo. Between Scott and De Luca the capital side were capable of slipping passes to any one of their attacking threats. Add on to this the fact that Scott has a heavy shoulder when he needs it he could well go places in a hitherto stodgy Scotland midfield. This has been a great debut year for the former stand-off from Currie who was capped whilst still on a development contract. Not even Hogg managed that.
Duncan Weir (Glasgow) Blessed with an anvil of a left foot and a healthy respect of the touchlines earned understudying Dan Parks, Weir was the brains of Glasgow’s play-off run. They may not have scored so many tries, but with his peppering of the post they won a lot of games. A master of game management already and sure to slip into the Scotland 10 shirt soon.
Andrew Skeen (Melrose) Skeen got the nod for this place as he amassed a huge amount of point for champions Melrose this season whilst also running himself into the ground everywhere he could, at 7s and XVs.
Fraser Thomson (Melrose) Flying full-back Thomson has been impressive for a number of seasons now and after flirting with a trip down to Sale he has just been snapped up by Glasgow Warriors. Capable of breaking from anywhere he is one to watch over the next few years.
Robbie Lavery (Dundee HSFP) A scrum-half-come-centre Lavery has impressed for Dundee this season, running impressive support lines and proving to have more ballast in defence than a man of his size should have. Part of a devastating partnership with vice-captain Harry Duthie.
Simon Forrest (Dundee HSFP) With a heavy workrate Forrest has burst from hooker to make a large number of turnovers and midfield darts this season. He has score a lot of tries and the Kiwi has held the Dundee set-piece together.
Lee Millar (Gala) Millar has a near metronomic quality about his play for Gala. He has benefitted from the camaraderie enjoyed at Netherdale and his kicking from hand has been special throughout the campaign. A player acutely aware of what is around him.
Sean Cox (Edinburgh) Announced himself to Edinburgh fans by picking a fight with Shontayne Hape and unsettling the English Kiwi enough to keep him out of the game and help Edinburgh to the victory that opened their Heineken Cup campaign. Solid and niggly in the Nathan Hines mode.
Mike Cusack (Glasgow) Part of a very strong Glasgow front row unit this season, tighthead Cusack has come almost from nowhere (well, Doncaster) to settle the set-piece platform. Glasgow now have 2 genuine contenders in each front row berth and that depth is allowing them to keep the set-piece level up right through the 80 minutes.
Troy Nathan (Glasgow) Irreverent twitterer, pitch-side pundit, music lover and former Maori Leprechaun Troy Nathan did in fact have an impact for Glasgow early in the season before injury robbed him of a chance to help in the playoff push. A safe pair of hands with a great eye for a pass. Looks like a Kiwi Brian O’Driscoll at an X-Men fancy dress party.
Netani Talei (Edinburgh) In the Heineken Cup few could believe that the Number 8 was capable of such a volume of carries. Always prepared to make physical yards in the big games, huge chunks of credit for the Toulouse and Racing Metro results are due to the Fijian captain.
Tim Visser (Edinburgh) Top league try scorer of the season, third year running. The only other thing to be said is that this will be the last time he appears in this category…