Bath Rugby and Newport Gwent Dragons have both had one player each put forward in round three’s LV= Breakthrough Player shortlist, as Tom Dunn and Tyler Morgan join this season’s other nominations.
Tom Dunn becomes the first Bath Rugby player to make the list of nominees for the 2014/15 award, as well as the first front-row to make the list. His nomination is as a result of the hooker's dynamic play around the park against Harlequins, where he made 15 tackles without missing a single hit. Only his teammate Guy Mercer managed more – an incredible stat for any front-row player.
The 22-year-old also made five carries, and in a tight game averaged a better gain per carry than any other front-five forward on the day. Despite misplacing a couple of lineout throws, the prop-turned-hooker more than made up for it with his strong scrummaging and was part of a Bath pack that won all five of their scrums, from which they forced two penalties and a penalty try. This proved pivotal in a two-point win for the West Country side.
Tom Dunn stats:
Carries – 5
Average gain (m) – 3.2
Tackles/Misses – 15/0
Scrums Won/Lost – 5/0
Lineout Throws Won/Lost – 4/2
Despite being played in mid-November, the two LV= Cup Welsh derbies were taken into consideration for this week's LV= Breakthrough Player Award nomination and Tyler Morgan's impressive display for Newport Gwent Dragons against the Ospreys did not go unnoticed.
Morgan becomes the second player from one of the Welsh regions to feature on the list, as well as the first Dragon to receive a nomination. Although he didn't manage to cross the whitewash on the night, Morgan boasted some incredible stats from the game as he showcased his strong running ability.
The 19-year-old beat six defenders – more than any other player in the two Welsh derbies – on his way to recording a total gain of 80 metres. His average gain of 11.4 metres was the best of any player in the two all-Welsh fixtures and the young winger is surely one to watch for the future.
His stats are below:
Tyler Morgan stats:
Carries – 7
Metres – 80
Average Gain (m) – 11.4
Defenders Beaten – 6
Clean Breaks – 1
Launched in 2012, the LV= Breakthrough Player Award celebrates and recognises those young players who have stood out in the tournament with previous winners including Jack Nowell, Jonny May and Ollie Devoto. Using Opta match statistics, a forward and back from each round, along with two players with outstanding overall competition statistics will form a shortlist, which will be submitted to a fan vote on www.lv.com/rugby after Round 4 (07/08 February). The winner will be announced prior to the LV= Cup Final and LV= will donate £1,000 to a grassroots rugby initiative of their choice.
The LV= Breakthrough Player Award is designed to recognise the next generation of young players. For more information on the LV= Breakthrough Player Award visit www.LV.com/rugby