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

Match Report: Sale Sharks 3 Exeter Chiefs 21

Three first-half tries saw Exeter Chiefs move into the top four of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table after a scrappy…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Born-and-bred Worcester Warrior Jonny Arr up for jersey fight

Jonny Arr is on the brink of bringing up his 100th Aviva Premiership Rugby appearance for Worcester Warriors – but…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

100th Harlequins appearance ‘would be special’, says hooker Dave Ward

Harlequins hooker Dave Ward has said it would be “something special” if he made his 100th appearance for the club on…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Saints team named for derby day

The Northampton Saints team has been announced for Saturday’s East Midlands derby with Leicester. Ben Foden will lead the side…

JJ Hanrahan

Wasps team for Worcester Warriors

Dai Young has named his side to make the short trip to Sixways this Sunday, to take on Worcester Warriors…


Internationals return for Bath Rugby

Five of Bath Rugby’s international contingent have returned to the starting line-up for their Aviva Premiership match-up with Saracens tomorrow…

Taulupe Faletau

Leicester Tigers team news for Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 10

Logovi'i Mulipola and JP Pietersen return from international duty to join the Leicester Tigers line-up for Saturday's East Midlands derby…


Saracens name team to face Bath

Saracens have named their team to face Bath at the Recreational Ground for Saturday’s round ten Aviva Premiership clash, kick-off…

Maro Itoje

Potgieter to lead Warriors against Wasps

Flanker Dewald Potgieter will skipper Warriors this Sunday as they take on Wasps in the West Midlands derby at Sixways…


TEAM NEWS: Gloucester Rugby vs Bristol Rugby

Mark Tainton shuffles the pack ahead of Bristol’s trip to Gloucester on Saturday (4.30pm KO). The Acting Head Coach makes…

Adrian Jarvis

Horwill and Roberts return for Harlequins

Harlequins has announced the team to play Newcastle Falcons in Round 10 of the Aviva Premiership at Kingston Park on…

Jamie Roberts

Newcastle Falcons team to face Harlequins

Evan Olmstead returns from international duty as Newcastle Falcons make three changes for Sunday’s Aviva Premiership visit of Harlequins to…

Evan Olmstead

Gloucester Rugby unchanged for local derby against Bristol Rugby

Gloucester Rugby have named an unchanged starting XV for the third week in a row as they welcome Bristol Rugby…


Wasps’ Kearnan Myall prepared for ‘dangerous’ Worcester Warriors

Wasps second-row Kearnan Myall admits it will take an almighty second-half blitz if his side are to see off Worcester…

Kearnan Myall has played seven times in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season

Gloucester Rugby’s Matt Scott expects rivals to earn first win soon

Gloucester Rugby’s Matt Scott is adamant Bristol Rugby will get their first Aviva Premiership Rugby win sooner rather than later…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Preview of this weekend’s international and Aviva Premiership action

[audio mp3=""][/audio]


Aviva Premiership Rugby on BT Sport and ITV Sport this weekend

Sale Sharks and Exeter Chiefs kick-off another action-packed weekend of Aviva Premiership Rugby on BT Sport and ITV. Sharks take…

Bt Sport presenters

Chiefs side to face Sale Sharks

Rob Baxter says it’s imperative his Exeter Chiefs side keep their “foot on the pedal” after securing back-to-back victories in…


Sale Sharks team to face Exeter Chiefs

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership tomorrow evening at the AJ…