2023/24 Edinburgh Rugby Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year nominees confirmed

2023/24 Edinburgh Rugby Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year nominees confirmed

The nominees for both the Scottish Building Society Men’s Player of the Year and It’s Good 2 Give Women’s Player of the Year have been confirmed ahead of next week’s Season Awards, held at EICC on Saturday 25 May.

With several impressive performers from both men’s and women’s squads in 2023/24, respective coaching teams have whittled each award down to five nominees, with winners to be announced on the night at the EICC.

With single tickets and tables of 10 still available for the unmissable evening of celebration, supporters are encouraged to act fast to secure their spot with places set to go off sale this Friday (17 May).

Check out the five nominees for each award below, chosen by our men’s and women’s senior coaching teams.



2023/24 Scottish Building Society Men’s Player of the Year nominees

Wes Goosen

It’s been a special bounce back season for Goosen who has been one of the club’s most consistent performers since taking to the field against Dragons RFC in Round 1 of the BKT United Rugby Championship.

An electric playmaker who has played both full-back and wing throughout the season, Goosen’s courageous ball-carrying and aerial abilities have made him a popular character among the Hive Stadium terraces.

Jamie Ritchie

No one has won more turnovers in the BKT United Rugby Championship this season than Jamie Ritchie.

Not just a breakdown specialist, Ritchie’s defence, ball-carrying and aerial abilities have been top notch, with the back-row named BKT Player of the Match on several occasions this current campaign.

Hamish Watson

The British & Irish Lion made his 150th appearance earlier this season before signing a new deal that will take him into his 14th campaign in the Scottish capital.

Watson shows no signs of slowing down, with every 80-minute performance filled with a showreel of pinball breaks and characteristic breakdown steals.

Matt Currie

The academy graduate and former Merchiston Castle/Dumfries man has shot onto the scene this campaign, with Head Coach Sean Everitt stating that Currie has been ‘one of the first names on his team sheet’ week in, week out.

Currie has been asked to play inside-centre, outside-centre and wing this season – playing each position with the same levels of effort and intensity.

A breakaway solo try against Bayonne in the EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16 proved a highlight moment in the club’s European campaign.

Bill Mata

The Fijian internationalist may be departing for Bristol Bears at the end of the season, but that hasn’t diminished his commitment to the jersey, with Mata still one of the team’s top ball carriers week in, week out.

It’s been an incredible eight-year run for Mata in the Scottish capital and he will be hoping to guide Edinburgh to a play-off berth before he heads south this summer.

Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach Sean Everitt said: “It’s fantastic to see these five players nominated for Scottish Building Society Player of the Year. It’s a real testament to the hard work and dedication they’ve shown all season.

“These five players have consistently brought their best to the pitch. They’ve been leaders on and off the field, and I’m incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved.

“I’m excited to see a winner named at next Saturday’s awards night, but regardless of the outcome, I’m incredibly fortunate to coach such a talented group of players.”


It’s Good 2 Give Women’s Player of the Year

Sarah Denholm 

Edinburgh University stand-off Denholm skippered the capital side across their inaugural campaign, sparking an attack that sizzled through the Celtic Challenge with her clever attacking kicks and eye for defensive gaps.

Denholm’s leadership was evidenced throughout the tournament, helping inspire the next generation of Embra stars.

Alex Stewart

The capital’s vice-captain, Corstorphine Cougars flanker Stewart has enjoyed a breakthrough year. The openside was tireless around the park, bringing relentless energy in attack and defence.

Her exceptional form saw her earn a Scotland call-up, starting all her country’s Six Nations games at just 19 years old.

Merryn Gunderson

An unsung hero of the Celtic Challenge side, back-row Gunderson brought steel and power to the capital’s pack.

The Corstorphine star regularly made the hard yards for her team; her physicality and work rate seeing her called into the Six Nations squad for the first time.

Molly Poolman

Watsonians tighthead Poolman was a bedrock in the Edinburgh scrum, providing set-piece dominance across the tournament when faced with international opposition.

The prop’s efforts extended into open play as a willing carrier of the ball, while bagging a crucial try in the side’s victory against the Irish Clovers.

Cieron Bell

Another Edinburgh star that earned an international call-up, Edinburgh University winger Bell drew comparisons to fellow winger Duhan van der Merwe with her brilliant running and eye for the try line.

Bell scored five in seven games, with some stunning solo efforts from the left-wing gaining plaudits in an exciting campaign.

Edinburgh Rugby women’s team Head Coach, Claire Cruikshank, said: “We’re all incredibly excited as a staff and player group about the season awards.

“It was amazing to have played a part in the historic Edinburgh Rugby women’s side; it’s something that was unforgettable for all of those involved.

“There were some exceptional performances across the squad as we managed a second-place finish in our first involvement in the Celtic Challenge, and it’s brilliant to be able to recognise some of those players – alongside the men’s squad – at the upcoming awards dinner.”

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