The shortlist for the 2017/18 Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player Award has been announced.
The award, won last year by former Shiplake College stat Tom Howe, is for U23 players who have stood out during the tournament, with former winners including England internationals Jack Nowell and Jonny May
Using OPTA Match statistics a forward and a back are shortlisted each round, with Saracens’ Matt Gallagher and Ospreys’ Will Jones the final two to be shortlisted.
The final decision though is made by the fans, and you can vote at www.premiershiprugby.com. The winner will receive a Perpetual Chrono A.T. watch, thanks to Premiership Rugby partner Citizen, while Gilbert will supply £1000 worth of kit to a grassroots club of the winner’s choice.
The full shortlist includes Newcastle Falcons’ breakout star Adam Radwan, England U20 captain Ben Earl, the former Tonbridge School star now captaining Saracens’ A team, Glocuester’s Jake Polledri, who almost made the Italy squad, and former Harrow star Owain James, who has starred for Wasps.
Also on the list is London Irish prodigy Joe Cokanasiga, Earl’s Saracens teammate, Sione Vailanu, Harlequins’ former Whitgift star Stan South, and James’ fellow Wasps Academy star, Jacob Umaga.
Ex Whitgift man Matt Gallagher and Ospreys’ Will Jones’ inclusion completes the ten man shortlist.
Last year’s winner was Tom Howe, with Northampton Saints’ Harry Mallinder in 2nd, and Wasps’ Jack Willis in 3rd. Also included on last year’s list was Sam Simmonds, who starred for England last week, as well as Josh Adams, a star for Wales, and Bath’s Zach Mercer, who is on the fringes of an England breakthrough.
2017/18 Anglo-Welsh Breakthrough Player Award Shortlist:
Adam Radwan – Newcastle Falcons
Ben Earl – Saracens
Jake Polledri – Gloucester
Owain James – Wasps
Joe Cokanasiga – London Irish
Sione Vailanu – Saracens
Stan South – Harlequins
Jacob Umaga – Wasps
Matt Gallagher – Saracens
Will Jones – Ospreys