Grand Slam winner Sarah Bern was delighted to be recognised for her incredible performances in the 2019 Women’s Six Nations after winning England Women’s Player of the Year award.
The 21-year-old prop impressed on her return from injury in both the tight and the loose for the Red Roses as they won five from five to be crowned Grand Slam champions.
She was second on the list of top try scorers in this year’s Championship with five scores to her name, with only Jess Breach finishing ahead of her with nine tries for England.
Her tally of 25 points meant she was also the joint-fourth highest points scorer, while the Bristol Bears star also made the second most tackle breaks and line breaks.
And her accomplishments over the past year were recognised in the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) Awards ceremony at Twickenham, as she took home England Women’s Player of the Year.
“I’m a bit shocked to be honest,” she said. “It’s so surreal to be so young and hold the same trophy that Danielle Waterman has and Rocky Clark and the greats of our game.
“I think I was really lucky and I had amazing support helping me with my rehab, the coaches and everyone who has helped me come back from my hamstring injury.
“It allowed me to hit the ground running and I managed to have a wonderful Women’s Six Nations which I really enjoyed. There is so much more to come from this team as well.
“We have so much potential and I think it’s very raw at the minute, once we all finally click together I think we can be unstoppable. It’s an amazing feeling to be recognised in this way.”
The RPA Players’ Awards look to honour those for their outstanding contributions over the course of the season as well as recognising the off-field achievements of players.
Bern was recognised for the award by her peers and beat competition from teammates and fellow nominees Katy Daley-Mclean and Sarah McKenna for her standout performances.
“You get the recognition when you play well in the Women’s Six Nations from the media, but to actually get it from my England teammates means the world,” she added.
They will be your best friends but they will also be your harshest critics, so to actually get this award really means a lot to me.
“Having been injured and having worked so hard to get back to this point, I am overwhelmed and thankful to everyone who has been there and supported me throughout my career.
“It’s an honour to be a member of this England team, and especially at the age of 21, I am shocked to have such incredible recognition.”
Meanwhile, the England Men’s Player of the Year award went to Jonny May after the winger scored six tries during the Guinness Six Nations for Eddie Jones’ men as they finished second.