Blog Banner

Award winners react following 2021/22 End of Season evening

First Team News | 25th May 2022

On Sunday evening, Cardiff’s star performers and outstanding achievements were celebrated at the 2021/22 End of Season awards, held at Depot.

From the community game to first team rugby, 11 awards were up for grabs in total, and we caught up with some of the main rugby award winners to get their reaction on the night.

Josh Turnbull - Peter Thomas Player of the Season (sponsored by Jellyfish)

I wasn’t expecting it at all, especially when going up against Jim and Ratti in the category. 

They’ve both had excellent seasons, to be fair, and I hope Ratti gets his cap over the summer and Jim comes back flying, wanting to work even harder and become an even better rugby player.

He’s had a hell of a season, as shown by his Players’ Player award. It takes a lot to be voted by your peers.

From a personal side, I wasn’t expecting this award and I’m chuffed to bits.

Last Friday wasn’t the way we wanted to finish the season and it hasn’t been the season for us.

But we’re all hurting after the season and are determined to come back wanting to get better.

The biggest thing is that we all want to learn from this season and we’re all in it together - everyone in the building, including the thousands that we can hold at the Arms Park.

We appreciate all your support, we know you’re all hurting and we’re busting to get things right for next season.

James Botham - Players’ Player of the Season (sponsored by Route Media UK)

It’s amazing to win this award. I’ve been at Cardiff since 2016, and broke through to the first team in 2018.

For me it was always about stringing games together, playing with the boys and getting results.

But obviously the boys have chosen me for this award and it feels amazing. I’ve got goosebumps and I couldn’t ask for anything more this season.

The boys have chosen from performances but like I always say - there’s always work ons for me. 

I always want to get better but for now I’m just amazed and over the moon. 

Since I first came to an awards night, it’s the type of award I’ve always wanted to win so it’s great it came through.

Theo Cabango - Discovery of the Season (sponsored by LexisNexis Risk Solutions)

It’s been a really wild season. I started off by coming back from an injury and playing for Cardiff RFC, which was another honour for me. 

Getting the chance to play with them allowed me to really kick on and then I got the chance to play against Toulouse.

It was obviously awful for the boys stuck in South Africa but luckily enough I was there and got to step up. I played against Toulouse and Harlequins, which were great games. That was a really amazing experience which has helped me.

From then on, I just got stuck into training and I think I did pretty good. The coaches spoke to me about cracking on, that I was doing well and getting into discussions about starting.

We went out to South Africa where I made my URC debut and from there I haven’t really looked back. It’s been amazing so far to be training and I just want to keep striving and moving forward. It’s been an amazing and unforgettable season for me.

Unfortunately I missed out on under-20s rugby through injuries but I’ve tried not to look back at it. 

I like to look forward and stay positive, and I was lucky to have that chance with Cardiff RFC. I had a few starts there, where I had some good games and a couple of tries, and that got people noticing me. From then on, I haven’t looked back and just continued to look forward.

I’ve worked hard in training and luckily enough I got to a place where I was starting week-in, week-out. I want to take that into next season and really kick on and develop more.

Gwennan Hopkins - Women’s Under-18 Player of the Season (sponsored by Dragon Signs)

It was a massive shock, I had no idea that I’d be winning the award on the evening. When I needed to pop out of my seat quickly, my coaches had to tell me to stay at the table, and when I asked why he pointed to the screen and my face was on there!

It was a really proud moment and made me really appreciate how good this season has been.

To be able to celebrate with some of the coaches and my team-mates was lovely. We can be very proud of the team’s achievements, finishing the tournament on top of the table.

Looking ahead, I just want to carry on with my progress and work hard over pre-season. Being part of the club’s awards evening has really motivated me to kick on, because I realise it can be the future. And it’s a really cool future and I really hope that I can stay in rugby.