Northampton Saints full back Tom Collins has been voted the 2014/15 LV= Breakthrough Player.
Following five weeks of voting, the twenty-year-old is confirmed as the winner of the award, which is designed to recognise the next generation of young players in the LV= Cup.
Collins was nominated back in November after round one of the competition. Opta stats confirmed an impressive performance from the Saints Academy graduate, scoring two tries and assisting on a third during his club's 37-23 win over Newcastle Falcons. A workhorse around the park, Collins boasted 18 carries during the game while gaining 175 metres throughout the fixture at Franklin's Gardens. A force in defence as well as attack, the full back beat seven defenders during his club's opening game of the 2014/15 cup campaign.
Speaking after the announcement at Franklin's Gardens – the home of the 2014/15 LV= Cup Final this Sunday – Tom said:
"It's a real honour to have been named as the LV= Breakthrough Player and I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for me. The standard of the competition was very high so to be singled out is a huge achievement.
"I'm really enjoying my rugby at the moment, and have undoubtedly benefitted from the LV= Cup experience. It's a great platform to show what you can do as a player. It's obviously disappointing that we didn't make the final, especially as it's at Franklin's Gardens but I'm sure it will be still be a great occasion."
Claire Jeromson, LV= Head of Sponsorship added:
"Congratulations to Tom for winning the LV= Breakthrough Player Award. Once again the competition has been fierce with many young talented players joining Tom on the shortlist.
It has been a fantastic season with the LV= Cup seeing so many young players given the opportunity to represent their clubs. We wish Tom all the best for a very successful rugby career and look forward to following his progress."
On behalf of Tom, LV= will donate £1,000 to a grassroots club of his choice, reflecting the important role the community game has on developing the career of future stars.
Previous LV= Breakthrough Player Award winners:
2012: Jonny May
2013: Jack Nowell
2014: Ollie Devoto
Be part of the rugby family at the LV= Cup Final this Sunday, 22 March. Tickets available here: www.northamptonsaints.co.uk/buytickets