Dragons head coach Paul Turner, former Connacht boss Michael Bradley, Scarlets hooker Ken Owens, Edinburgh full back Chris Paterson and the entire Cardiff Blues squad were all winners at Monday night’s inaugural Magners League Awards.
Wales coach Warren Gatland presented Turner with the Magners League Coach of the Season award after Turner pipped Sean Lineen of Glasgow Warriors to the title for turning the Dragons into one of the most competitive sides in the League. They lost only twice at home and beat all four Play-Off sides at Rodney Parade.
Bradley was the first winner of the Chairman’s Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Magners League during his time as head coach of Connacht.
The former interim Ireland coach was in charge of Connacht for 138 games and after eight seasons has decided to move on. In that time he has made Galway one of the most difficult venues for any team to visit and has moulded Connacht into a highly competitive side packed with young Irish talent.
Connacht beat Leinster last season and Munster the season before that while, Bradley has also made it his mission to groom players like skipper John Muldoon and hooker Sean Cronin for Irish honours.
Scarlets hooker Owens managed what even wing stars and fellow award winners Tommy Bowe and Tim Visser failed to do when he collected the Magners League Try of the Season award.
The all-action front row forward took the honour for his spectacular score against Leinster at the RDS in February, beating off efforts from Shane Horgan, James Hook, Jim Thompson and Aled Brew.
Owens stepped out of the shadow of Wales and Lions star Matthew Rees last season, featuring in all bar one of his side’s 18 Magners League ties. Having made just 12 starts in his previous three seasons, the 23-year-old began 13 games last time out and his form earned him a first senior Wales call up for the 2010 Six Nations.
Paterson– one of the world game’s elite in winning a century of Test caps – was named the 2009/10 season’s supreme marksman and the winner of the Gilbert Golden Boot Award.
He had the remarkable success rate of 88.89% from his 45 kicks at goal on the way to scoring 115 points in just nine tournament appearances last season and hoisting his overall tournament tally to 640 points in 70 appearances.
Finally, Cardiff Blues received a cheque for £10,000 for being the side with the best disciplinary record in the Magners League. This will be spent on Youth Development at the club.