Wasps and Northampton Saints each have players represented in the first two nominees for the LV= Breakthrough Player Award after round one of the competition.
Thomas Young of Wasps is nominated after producing impressive match statistics following his side's narrow away win over Sale Sharks. The son of former dual-code international and Wasps Director of Rugby Dai, was the top tackler of the round and remarkably did not miss any of his attempted hits. Amongst those tackles was a 'sack' on a kicker, while he also produced three jackals. Only two players managed to win more turnovers than the Welshman. Young also chipped in with seven carries and managed one defender beaten.
Turnovers / Pens: 0
Defenders Beaten: 1
He is joined by namesake Tom Collins of Northampton Saints, who was the only back to manage two tries during the opening round. Collins made a total of 175 metres beyond the gain-line, 60 more than the next highest performer in this category. The 20-year-old also beat a round-high seven defenders and made three clean breaks, as well as assisting a try to cap a fine performance. Northampton coach Alex King was full of praise for the young full-back, "Tom works incredibly hard at his game. He's a natural athlete who's got pace to burn, but he works at all the basics. He stays after training and does all his add-ons.”
Try Assists: 1
Defenders Beaten: 7
Clean Breaks: 3
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 (06/07/08 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