Nominees for 2022/23 Player of the Season revealed
Six of the season’s outstanding performers are in the running to be named McCrea Financial Services Player of the Season for 2022/23, after a campaign that has seen Glasgow Warriors re-establish themselves at the business end of the BKT United Rugby Championship.
The award will be presented at the club’s annual Awards Dinner, sponsored by The Malcolm Group, that will take place at Hilton Glasgow on Sunday 23 April. Tickets are still available for the event, which will see nine awards handed out on the night.
Supporters can vote for their McCrea Financial Services Player of the Season using the poll below until 12pm on Wednesday 12 April.
The nominees are:
In his first season with Glasgow Warriors, Tongan international Vailanu has become a firm favourite with the Warrior Nation with his barnstorming style of play.
No player has carried more for the Warriors than the back-rower’s 123 carries in the BKT URC, whilst Player of the Match awards in victories over Perpignan and Munster showcased the big man’s impact on the field.
A highlight-reel worthy score against Benetton at Scotstoun on his home debut set the tone for what was to follow, galloping home from 65 metres to send the Scotstoun faithful wild.
The ever-reliable Bhatti is nominated following a season that has seen the prop continue to go from strength to strength under Franco Smith and the club’s coaching team, the Scotland international quietly going about his business in the front-row.
A near ever-present at loose-head in the BKT URC this season, the prop’s 13 appearances include memorable victories at home to the DHL Stormers and in December’s 1872 Cup triumph over Edinburgh.
Bhatti is also able to claim a 94% tackle success rate across all competitions this season, as well as winning five turnovers at the breakdown.
Nominated for the second successive season, Cancelliere is another to have thoroughly endeared himself to supporters since arriving ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
The Argentinian has been in scintillating form throughout the campaign, twice walking away with the McCrea Financial Services Warrior of the Month award and leading the club for defenders beaten, metres made and clean breaks across the BKT URC campaign.
His try-scoring prowess also saw him become the first winger to score nine tries or more in a campaign since Tommy Seymour in 2018/19, with two of those tries coming in unforgettable fashion in January’s win over the DHL Stormers.
A two-time winner of the Player of the Season prize, having taken home the trophy in both 2018 and 2020, the newly re-signed Horne has been back to his livewire best during the 2022/23 campaign.
No player has scored more than Horne’s tally of 102 points in all competitions to date this season, the scrum-half having assumed regular kicking duties for the first season in his professional club career.
The Howe of Fife product has also moved into sole possession of fourth place in the club’s all-time try-scoring charts, behind only club legends DTH van der Merwe, Tommy Seymour and Niko Matawalu.
Centre McDowall has enjoyed a breakout campaign in Glasgow colours, with the centre’s form having seen him rewarded with a call-up to the Scotland squad ahead of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations.
The Stewartry RFC product has been a lynchpin in Franco Smith’s midfield across the campaign, scoring six tries in 12 BKT URC appearances to date this season.
His on-field leadership has also seen him assume the captaincy in the absence of club captain Kyle Steyn, leading the team to famous away victories over Perpignan – scoring a try against the Catalan side on his first outing as skipper – and Munster.
Scotland standout Tuipulotu is also nominated for a second year in a row, having developed into one of the most gifted centres in the northern hemisphere.
Comfortable at either 12 or 13, the centre has dove-tailed to outstanding effect with his fellow centres, as well as showing off his all-round skillset by doing everything from making line breaks running backwards to nailing pinpoint 50-22 kicks.
Named in the Six Nations Team of the Tournament, it’s his club form that has seen Tuipulotu catch the eye across the campaign, making 12 appearances in all competitions for Smith’s men.
Of these six players, Stafford McDowall, Sione Tuipulotu, and George Horne have all recently re-signed with the club, committing their future to Scotstoun.