TIM Swinson was last night named Newcastle Falcons’ Player of the Season for 2010-11 at the club’s annual awards dinner at Kingston Park.
The 24-year-old flanker played in all 22 of the Falcons’ Aviva Premiership matches, making 31 appearances in all competitions as the club secured top-flight rugby for a 15th consecutive year.
The Newcastle university graduate featured in both the second and back rows, scrapping away in an improved forward pack as Newcastle escaped the drop in a dramatic climax to the campaign.
Players’ Player of the Season went to Jimmy Gopperth, the Kiwi fly-half who has slotted 230 points in his 22 league outings this term.
Gopperth’s kicking exploits had already seen him handed his second Gilbert Golden Boot this week for top-scoring across the entire Premiership, as well as being named in the ESPN Dream Team.
The Ken Lockerbie Trophy for consistent performance also went the way of the former Blues and Hurricanes man, while full-back Tom Catterick earned the Community Foundation Award for his tireless work promoting the game across the North East.
A well-attended bash saw the Falcons Supporters Club recognised for their efforts as they collectively took the Clubman of the Season prize.
Cumbrian flanker Mark Wilson was rewarded for a hugely promising year by scooping Academy Player of the Season, the 21-year-old having shone in his 27 appearances since joining from Blaydon.
A hugely popular try of the season award was collected by Tane Tu’ipulotu for the last-minute score against Harlequins which propelled his side into the final of the LV= Cup.
It was an emotional night for the Tongan veteran, who is bound for Japan, and The Journal can reveal that Iwata Shizuoka will be his eventual destination as he joins up with the Yamaha Jubilo club.