The Cheetahs walked away with two accolades in Glasgow on Monday night when Fred Zeilinga (flyhalf) and Torsten van Jaarsveld (hooker) featured among a handful of players rewarded for their outstanding performances in the 2017/18 PRO14 season.
Zeilinga won the Golden Boot
award, with his accurate kicking rate of 85.37% seeing him outshine all of the other place-kickers who had a minimum of 30 attempts at goal, while Van Jaarsveld was named in the PRO14 Dream Team . Both players have subsequently moved on from the Cheetahs, Zeilinga to the Canon Eagles in Japan and Van Jaarsveld to Bayonne in France.
The awards ceremony, which doubled up as the 2018/19 PRO14 Launch Party, was hosted at the Argyle Street Arches in Glasgow.
Over 75 media, which included former players and coaches, were involved in the Dream Team voting process, with players who featured in nine or more matches being eligible for selection.
Five players from each of last season's finalists, Leinster and Scarlets, were named in the team, while the Glasgow Warriors earned two places, with Callum Gibbins nominated as the Dream Team captain. Van Jaarsveld, John Cooney (Ulster) and Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) made up the final places.
The 2018/19 season kicks off on Friday, August 31, with the Southern Kings meeting Zebre in Parma, while the Cheetahs will go up against Munster in Limerick on Saturday, September 1.
2017/2018 PRO14 award winners:
- Players' Player of the Season: Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets)
- PRO14 Coach of the Season: Leo Cullen (Leinster)
- Young Player of the Season: Jordan Larmour (Leinster)
- PRO14 Chairman's Award: Ed Jackson (Dragons)
- Golden Boot Award: Fred Zeilinga (Cheetahs)
- PRO14 Dream Team Captain: Callum Gibbins (Glasgow Warriors)
- PRO14 Top Try Scorer: Barry Daly (Leinster)
- PRO14 Tackle Machine: Olly Robinson (Cardiff Blues)
- PRO14 Ironman: Giulio Bisegni (Zebre)
- FairPlay Award: Scarlets
2017/18 PRO14 Dream Team:
15 Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), 14 Jordan Larmour (Leinster), 13 Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors), 12 Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), 11 James Lowe (Leinster), 10 Rhys Patchell (Scarlets), 9 John Cooney (Ulster), 8 Jack Conan (Leinster), 7 Callum Gibbins (Glasgow Warriors), 6 Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), 5 Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets), 4 Scott Fardy (Leinster), 3 Andrew Porter (Leinster), 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (Cheetahs) , 1 Rob Evans (Scarlets)