Fixtures - Top Bar

Harry Mallinder thrilled to put injury woes behind him with Land Rover Discovery of the Season nomination

Just one year ago an injury-hit Harry Mallinder was wondering whether his dream of making the grade in Aviva Premiership Rugby would ever come true.

This time in 2015, the 19-year-old was at the end of a frustrating injury-ridden season, while taking his mind off being stuck on the sidelines by working through a part-time degree in Business Economics.

But fast forward 12 months and the story could not be more different with Mallinder nominated for the Land Rover Discovery of the Season Award having starred for Saints this season across the back line.
He is joined on the illustrious shortlist by Harlequin Jack Clifford, Northampton’s Paul Hill, Saracen Maro Itoje, Sale Sharks’ Sam James and Leicester Tigers’ Harry Thacker, with past winners of the gong including England players Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola.
Just to be included in such extraordinary company is something that Mallinder is the first to say was completely unfathomable this time last year.
“I’m definitely thrilled to be a part of such an impressive shortlist,” said Mallinder.
“I was a bit shocked really to be nominated, but I’m very honoured to be mentioned alongside some great young players in the Aviva Premiership.
“Some of the other guys have gone on to do great things already. You only have to look at the guys that have won this award in previous years and the success they’ve gone on to achieve to know this is a big deal.
“I can only hope to follow in their footsteps now. If I’m honest I wasn’t expecting to get so much of an opportunity this year.
“I had a terrible year last year with injuries and missed most of the season as a result.
“So to get back fit again was just massive, and I knew with the World Cup I might get some opportunities, but to be playing for the first team so regularly has been great.”
The shortlist was compiled by Land Rover ambassador David Flatman, ESPN’S Tom Hamilton, ITV’s Nick Heath, Premiership Rugby Head of Academies and Development Mike Hynard, the Press Association’s Nick Purewal, Alex Lowe from The Times and BBC’s Sonja McLaughlan. Premiership Rugby's Communications Director Paul Morgan chaired the panel.
Players aged under-23 on 16 October 2015 are eligible to win Land Rover Discovery of the Season and to make the shortlist, the player must have featured in five or more Aviva Premiership Rugby matches in the 2015-16 season.
The winner of the Land Rover Discovery of the Season will be named at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards at the London Hilton, Park Lane presented by BT Sport's Craig Doyle on 18 May.
With his dad leading Saints since 2007, Mallinder has grown up with the club and he admits pulling on the Northampton jersey still gives him goosebumps.
And having shown he is one of the club’s rising stars, next on the agenda for the versatile Mallinder is nailing down his spot in the starting XV for next season.
“I’ve been a big supporter of Saints. I’ve watched from the stands, been a ball boy, and to get my place and make a difference for such a great club finally after what seemed like a very long time has been amazing," said Mallinder.
“I know full well there’s been some people who, before I broke through this season, maybe doubted my capabilities and why I was at the club.
“But I hope now I’ve played and shown what I can do that I’ve earned their respect, and that it’s about what I can do out on the field rather than what my surname is.
“If I manage to back up what I’ve done this year, and hopefully secure a starting place in whatever position that may be then I’ll be happy next year.
“But I’d love to follow in the footsteps of the people that have won this award and maybe go on to bigger and better things as well.”
The Land Rover Discovery of the Season Award recognises the most impressive young Premiership Rugby players each season. The winner will be revealed at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards on 18 May.
The winners will be announced first on Twitter via the @premrugby account. Use hashtag #AvivaPremAwards to join the conversation or follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal.

Latest News

Jeff Williams excited by new Bath Rugby role for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Bath Rugby won’t be lacking rugby 7s experience when former England international Jeff Williams takes the reigns for the Singha…

Whiteley hoping to lead Saracens starlets to glory in Singha 7s

Saracens scrum-half Tom Whiteley is hoping to use all his experience of competing at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s to…

Mike Delany returns to New Zealand

Newcastle Falcons fly-half Mike Delany has returned to his native New Zealand to sign for home province, Bay of Plenty.…

Mike Delany

Topsy Ojo talks London Double Header memories

With six weeks to go until London Irish lock horns with Harlequins in the iconic London Double Header at Twickenham,…

Topsy Ojo

Toby Flood hopes to bring ruthless streak to Newcastle Falcons

Toby Flood is hoping to help give Newcastle Falcons the ruthless streak required to push them further up the Aviva…

Toby Flood

Aviva Premiership Rugby set for changes after six law amendments added to global trial

Aviva Premiership Rugby will be part of the global trial for six new law amendments after the World Rugby Executive…

Alex Lewington hopes London Irish youngsters will gain confidence from Singha 7s

London Irish wing Alex Lewington cannot wait to see which youngsters step up to the plate in the Singha Premiership…

Alex Lewington

Worcester Warriors sign Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer

Warriors have signed Ireland international Peter Stringer on a six-month deal ahead of the 2017/18 season. The scrum-half will join…

Peter Stringer

Tim Streather forced to retire from rugby

Former Saracens centre Tim Streather has been forced to retire from the game due to a knee injury. Commenting on…

Tim Streather

Contract and captaincy for Dylan Hartley at Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints has today announced that Dylan Hartley has both signed a new contract and been appointed as the club’s…

Dylan Hartley

Forwards Coach George Skivington says London Irish squad are chomping at the bit

The London Irish squad have returned for pre-season training ‘hungrier’ than ever before according to Forwards Coach George Skivington. Now…

George Skivington

Wasps Academy sign Gabriel Oghre and George Thornton

Wasps announce the signing of hooker Gabriel Oghre and prop George Thornton to the Senior Academy ahead of the new…

Gabriel Oghre and George Thornton

Singha 7s gives next generation the chance to shine

Harlequins academy coach Jim Evans believes that next week’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s will give the league’s stars of the…

Harlequins in action at the Singha 7s

Singha Premiership Rugby 7s draw confirmed

The 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season will kick off – at the end of July - in spectacular style with the Singha…

Win an Executive Box for the Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series

Premiership Rugby has teamed up with Northampton Saints to offer supporters the chance to win themselves an Executive Box at…

Singha 7s Ball

Dave Attwood and team-mates happy to lend a hand at Bath Rugby Foundation’s Summer Scrum

Bath Rugby lock Dave Attwood admitted helping teach rugby to children with disabilities was extremely humbling as he and his…

Gordon Reid on his first training day with London Irish

New recruit Gordon Reid is determined to be a permanent fixture in London Irish’s front row having made the switch…

Gordon Reid

Singha 7s is a chance for players to shine, says Stephen Myler

Northampton Saints’ Stephen Myler is anticipating a vibrant atmosphere and high-octane rugby when the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s arrives at…

Stephen Myler

Mark Wilson bringing his England form back to Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons’ latest England international checked back in at his club on Monday, with Mark Wilson enthusiastic about their prospects…

Mark Wilson