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Final two starlets complete Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player Award shortlist

Final two starlets complete Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player Award shortlist

Premiership Rugby are delighted to announce that Saracens’ Matt Gallagher and Will Jones from Ospreys are the final two to be shortlisted for this season’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player Award.

Launched in 2012, the Breakthrough Player Award celebrates and recognises under-23 players who have stood out in the tournament, with previous winners including the likes of Jack Nowell, Jonny May and Tom Collins.

Using OPTA match statistics, a forward and back from each round have already been shortlisted, with Gallagher and Jones completing the ten-man line-up that will be submitted to a fan vote from Monday 19 February.

The winner will be announced prior to the Anglo-Welsh Cup Final, with the lucky recipient also receiving a Perpetual Chrono A.T watch courtesy of Premiership Rugby partner Citizen, while Gilbert, Official Ball and Rugby Clothing Partner of Premiership Rugby, will supply £1,000 worth of kit to a grassroots club of the winner’s choice.

The reasons for Gallagher and Jones’ inclusion are below, while the final shortlist is:

  • Adam Radwan – Newcastle Falcons
  • Ben Earl – Saracens
  • Jake Polledri – Gloucester Rugby
  • Owain James – Wasps
  • Joe Cokanasiga – London Irish
  • Sione Vailanu – Saracens
  • Stan South – Harlequins
  • Jacob Umaga – Wasps
  • Matt Gallagher – Saracens
  • Will Jones – Ospreys


Forward – Ospreys flanker Will Jones

Appearances: 4

Carries: 18

Defenders beaten: 6

Tackles: 54

Tackle success: 100%

Turnovers won: 4


After coming on as a replacement in Ospreys’ first Anglo-Welsh Cup match Will Jones went on to start the next three games and did not let his teammates down.

The 19-year-old made an incredible 54 tackles, the third most of any player, however, it was his precision in the contact area that really stood out as he didn’t miss a single tackle through his 232 minutes of action; no one else made more than 45 without a miss.

He also won four turnovers for his side and with ball in hand beat six defenders from just 18 carries.


Back – Saracens full-back Matt Gallagher

Appearances: 4

Tries: 1

Carries: 49

Metres gained: 250

Defenders beaten: 13

Offloads: 4

Try assists: 1


Matt Gallagher featured in all four of Saracens’ Anglo-Welsh Cup games this season and was one of the key men in his side’s attacking play.

His 49 carries were the most by any Saracens player and the fourth most of any player overall in the pool stage, while he was one of just nine players to gain 250+ metres.

He proved to be an elusive runner, beating 13 defenders, over twice as many as any other Saracens back.

The 21-year-old improved as he went on, and was directly involved in two tries in his most recent two games, crossing the whitewash against the Dragons and assisting against Exeter Chiefs.


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