Nick Williams scooped the main award of the evening as Cardiff Blues celebrated the 2017-18 season and their European Challenge Cup triumph at Stratstone Land Rover Cardiff.
The first team squad and management were joined by staff, sponsors, family and friends at the annual End of Season Awards Evening, which was sponsored by Genero Group.
There were 14 awards in total with number eight Nick Williams winning the prestigious Peter Thomas Player of the Season sponsored by Genero, succeeding Rey Lee-Lo.
Williams beat off competition from Lee-Lo, Jarrod Evans and Josh Navidi to claim the coveted prize and cap a memorable couple of weeks following the historic triumph over Gloucester in Bilbao.
He said: “It’s always special to receive an award like this and it is testament to the whole team.
“It’s been a tough couple of years since I’ve come over so to be recognised in that fashion is special and something I will cherish for a long time.
“When I look at this season I’m still kind of speechless, I know I probably won’t experience something like that again. It was very special not just professionally but personally as well.
“It was a very humbling experience and to cap it off the way we did was extra special.
“My days are numbered. I’ll be the first to say that but I will spend as much time on the paddock as I can, or they will allow me, and if they have to pull me off then so be it. I like to leave the pitch in a better place than when I came onto it.
“The body has taken a bit of a bettering so I’m looking forward to putting my feet up and spending some downtime with my girls, recuperating and recovering and then I’ll look to next season.”
Williams has become a talismanic figure since joining Cardiff Blues from Ulster.
On the pitch his leadership, ball carrying and breakdown prowess have all received widespread plaudits, while off it the example he and other senior players have set has driven standards.
Almost every speaker called to join Tom Shanklin on stage referred to the tightness of the current squad and environment senior players have created and Williams, who is approaching his third season in Cardiff, has been a key figure.
He added: “I remember when I was young and I had players like Xavier Rush, Carlos Spencer, Andrew Blowers when I was coming through, legends of the game in New Zealand and they were doing the unseen work,” he said.
“That’s something I like to pride myself on and hopefully pass onto the younger boys and it carries on through the generations.”
The other big winner of the night was Jarrod Evans, who claimed a memorable double as we won Players’ Player of the Season, sponsored by Spiros, and the Stratstone Land Rover Cardiff Discovery of the Year.
Owen Lane picked up the Academy Player of the Season, while Katie Jenkins won the Cardiff Blues Ladies Player of the Season Award.
Full list of award winners:
Stratstone Land Rover Cardiff’s state-of-the-art facilities includes a brand new drive-through service offering. Simply drive straight into the service area and be greeted by Stratstone service advisors. They’ll invite you into the retailer while your Land Rover is taken to be serviced. You can then drive out in a loan car or wait with a coffee and once the work has been completed you simply drive out in your own fully serviced car.
- Club Volunteer of the Season (sponsored by Edwards Travel) – Lauren Holloway
- School Volunteer of the Season (sponsored by MPS) – Michael Connor
- Young People’s Coach of the Season (sponsored by the Vale Resort) – Gavin Clement
- Outstanding Contribution to Rugby Development (sponsored by Event Mobile Catering) – Endaf Williams
- Cardiff Blues Employees of the Season (sponsored by Dragon Signs) – Helen Davies & Dr Gareth Jones
- Cardiff Blues Ladies U18 Player of the Season (sponsored by Cardiff Life) – Manon Johnes
- Cardiff Blues Ladies Player of the Season (sponsored by Cardiff Life) –Katie Jenkins
- Cardiff Blues Try of the Season (sponsored by Tiger Tiger) – Tomos Williams (vs Gloucester)
- Cardiff Blues Academy Player of the Season (sponsored by High Motive) – Owen Lane, who also received a gift from the Brogue Trader
- Cardiff Blues Discovery of the Season (sponsored by Stratstone Land Rover Cardiff ) – Jarrod Evans
- Cardiff Blues Players’ Player of the Season (sponsored by Spiros) – Jarrod Evans
- Peter Thomas Player of the Season (sponsored by Genero) – Nick Williams, who received a watch kindly donated by Watches of Wales
- Cardiff Blues Special Recognition Award (sponsored by Heineken) – Taufa’ao Filise