As the height of the season falls on the 2018/19 Premiership season draws close, a memorable occasion heralded new inductees to the Premiership Rugby Hall of Fame.
Celebrating three key names who contributed plenty to the English rugby competition. The Hall of Fame is a collection of players that have won championships, led with distinction and the values heralded by the sport.
The 2019 inductees are Nick Evans, Matt Dawson and Jason Leonard.
New inductees for Premiership Rugby Hall of Fame
In a media release, Premiership Rugby Hall of Fame nominees for 2019 will join the exclusive club following a ceremony at Twickenham Stadium on Friday 31 May, the night before the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final.
All three have played a considerable part in establishing the Premiership brand. Each played in different eras however, all three provided lasting memories.
Matt Dawson (see main picture) and Leonard join several of their fellow 2003 World Cup winners in the Hall of Fame, with Kyran Bracken, Ben Kay, and Jason Robinson inducted last year. And Jonny Wilkinson, Josh Lewsey, Lawrence Dallaglio, Simon Shaw, Richard Hill, Neil Back and Phil Vickery all also welcomed in recent times.
And Nick Evans, a one-club man with Harlequins where he made more than 200 Premiership Rugby appearances and helped the club lift their first League title in 2012, joins them on the illustrious list.
Both are included beside centurion Jason Leonard, esteemed England and Harlequins front rower. A man who confronted every challenge ever laid at his feet, Leonard excelled in the days before professionalism – although, he personified dignity, integrity and ruggedness.
- Matt Dawson
- Nick Evans
- Jason Leonard
- Steve Borthwick
- Kyran Bracken
- Nick Easter
- Ben Kay
- Jason Robinson
- Neil Back
- Mark Cueto
- Richard Hill
- Mike Tindall
- Hugh Vyvyan
- Lawrence Dallaglio
- Josh Lewsey
- Simon Shaw
- James Simpson-Daniel
- Phil Vickery
- Peter Wheeler
- Jonny Wilkinson
Each of the names on the list illustrates individual qualities. The new inductees to the Premiership Rugby Hall of Fame each played a very different part.
Nick Evans was the consummate number ten. A driver, a director and with a dead-eye boot to match. He left NZ Rugby after a short term with the All Blacks, and in the Premiership Evans ‘found his feet’.
Matt Dawson was the sevens player, who became the pivot that England Rugby built on. A quick-minded halfback, who could play at the base of the scrum, as well as in the open. A member of the successful 2003 RWC-winning side, Dawson is as respected a player, as he is a pundit.
Jason Leonard is now a formidable name in the administration of rugby. Voted Chairman of the British and Irish Lions, it was as much on his work off the field, as it was in his long career with England Rugby. A Harlequins player [like Evans] with a valuable contribution to the Premiership rugby championship.
The Premiership Hall of Fame welcomes 3️⃣ legendary rugby figures 🏉
Their names are inked in rugby folklore 👊 and join a star-studded list of rugby greats 👏
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) May 8, 2019
All three will be honoured at Twickenham Stadium on May 31, where they each made huge contributions. Last Word on Rugby salutes the achievements, and ongoing work they provide to the new generation of rugby players and stakeholders.
“Main photo credit”
Embed from Getty Images