Shortlist for Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season revealed

Saracens player Alex Goode makes a break during the Aviva Premiership match between Gloucester Rugby and Saracens at Kingsholm Stadium on January 9, 2015
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Maro Itoje, Alex Goode, Gareth Steenson, Don Armand, George Smith and Charles Piutau are nominated for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season.

The Aviva Premiership has named the five-man shortlist for the Rugby Player of the Season award.

Exeter Chiefs pair Gareth Steenson and Don Armand are up for the gong, while George Smith and Charles Piutau of Wasps have also been nominated.

The shortlist is completed by Maro Itoje and Alex Goode of Saracens, who won their first ever European Champions Cup by beating Racing 92 in the final in Lyon on Saturday.

"With 616 tries, almost 6,000 points scored this season and an English winner of the European Rugby Champions Cup it is clear that we have had a stellar campaign," said rugby director at Premiership Rugby Phil Winstanley.

"There were more than a dozen stand-out candidates and it is great to see a mixture of our own Academy graduates with a number of overseas stars. Just whittling it down to these six was an immense challenge for the panel.

"All of them have major significant contributions to a fantastic season and have been at the forefront of their clubs' drive to the semi-finals this weekend and they can be extremely proud of making the shortlist. The winner will take his place in an impressive list of Premiership Rugby players who have won this award previously."

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the London Hilton on Wednesday, May 18.

Bath's George Ford takes on the Newcastle Falcons defence during their Aviva Premiership match on February 8, 2014
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