Latu shortlisted for Green Flag Forward of the Year
The Tonga captain has been a stand-out player for the Falcons, signing a new contract extension this week having scored more Aviva Premiership tries this season than any of his club-mates.
Latu is joined on the shortlist by Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), George Smith (Wasps) and Billy Vunipola (Saracens).
The shortlist was determined by a judging panel comprised of former England captain Martin Corry, Emma Thurston (Out On The Full), Andrew McKenna (TalkSport) and Neale Harvey (The Rugby Paper).
Corry said: “To make this list is a great achievement.
“We have spoken about so many talented and impressive guys. If you look at the impact and durability they have had to last the Aviva Premiership Rugby season, their ability to perform week-in-week-out and also the capabilities to take it even further is amazing.”
On Latu, Corry added: “When you’re looking at key forwards and why Newcastle are staying up, you can point a big finger at Latu.
“I think he has been just immense and at times he has been carrying the side, and when you look at the big games they’ve won and the reason why they’ve stayed up – he’s been the difference between the two sides.
“I think it is a great credit to him that he is able to shine, but with what Dean Richards and John Wells are doing up in Newcastle, to bring in people like that as they’re looking to go forward they are going to say – we’ve got someone to build a future round.”
The winner will be announced at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards in London on May 18.
All the winners will be announced first on Twitter via the @premrugby account on the evening. Use hashtag #AvivaPremAwards to join the conversation or follow @GreenFlagUK #rugbytribe .