Five Directors of Rugby who have enjoyed exceptional campaigns have been shortlisted for the Ricoh Director of Rugby of the Season award, with Northampton Saints' Chris Boyd among the five-name shortlist.
In what has been one of the most competitive Gallagher Premiership Rugby seasons, the men at the helm have had it all to do as the battle for League positions intensified over nine months of competition.
And with the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final fast approaching the long list has been whittled down to just five thanks to a panel of judges, including a first-ever public vote.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday 22 May at the star-studded 2019 Premiership Rugby Awards, presented by Gallagher, and the full Ricoh Director of Rugby of the Season shortlist is:
- Johan Ackermann – Gloucester Rugby
- Rob Baxter – Exeter Chiefs
- Chris Boyd – Northampton Saints
- Pat Lam – Bristol Bears
- Mark McCall - Saracens
While McCall and Baxter have won this accolade before – the former on three occasions – Ackermann, Boyd and Lam are all looking to take home the prize for the first time.
While nearly 4,000 fans voted through the official Premiership Rugby app, the judging panel was completed by Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Mick Cleary (The Daily Telegraph), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), Robert Kitson (The Guardian), Chris Jones (BBC 5 Live), Owen Slot (The Times) and Tom Hamilton (ESPN), with Premiership Rugby Communications Director Paul Morgan chairing the panel.
Along with the winner of the Ricoh Director of the Season, the winners of the following awards will also be announced at the 2019 Premiership Rugby Awards, presented by Gallagher:
- Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Season
- Land Rover Discovery of the Season
- BT Sport Dream Team
- Gallagher Community Player of the Season
- Premiership Rugby 7s Player of the Season
- Top Try Scorer of the Season
- Gilbert Golden Boot
- Citizen Try of the Season
The winners at the 2019 Premiership Rugby Awards, presented by Gallagher, will be announced first on Twitter via the @premrugby account. Use hashtag #PremRugbyAwards to join the conversation.