WHEN you are chosen for an award alongside the coach of the best rugby team in Europe, you know you’re going places.

Rams head coach Seb Reynolds joined Saracens' Alex Sanderson, fresh from lifting the Heineken Champions Cup and Gallagher Premiership, as the first winners of the FieldTurf Coach of the Year at The Rugby Paper Awards.

The two men – who took the amateur-level and professional-level honours respectively – were recognised at the inaugural awards ceremony as the best coaches at their respective levels in the country.

It is hard to excuse Reynolds’ role in overseeing the project at his local club, as Rams won 28 of 30 matches, finishing 18 points clear of Canterbury as they lifted the National League Two South trophy.

But he put it down to the work of his entire coaching team – including Owen Root, Danny Batty and Joe Southwell.

“It was great to be invited to the awards, but I wasn’t sure why or what for,” Reynolds said.

“To pick up the award alongside a great coach like Alex, with the success Saracens have had this year, is just overwhelming for me really.

“I’m very luck to be in the position I am in with the team I have working around me.

“Ultimately this award is for the players who go on the pitch and do the business. They are a fantastic group and we are incredibly proud of what they have done.

“The award is a by-product of their work and I’m really just accepting this on their behalf, and I am proud to do so.”

Reynolds was one of a dozen rugby figures recognised at the awards, which were held at The Stoop, home of Premiership side Harlequins.

Rams now move into National League One, the third highest division in the country, with seeing off relegation their first priority.

Reynolds, who has been involved in the coaching set up since 2014 but became head coach in 2017, is excited to showcase the club, with the first-team stocked with local talent.

“Our captain Tom Vooght has been part of the club since he was seven,” he added.

“This is not a bought-in squad of ex-Premiership and Championship players. These are guys through the levels.

“We are very excited for National One, but we are under no illusions we are going to be going up against top teams.

“We think we are able to go up there and compete, being able to do ourselves proud. It’s going to be tough, but we are excited for the challenge.

“We want the guys to express themselves and enjoy the game.

“A lot of talk at The Rugby Paper Awards has been about enjoyment and having fun on the pitch – we want our players to do and we will keep promoting that.”