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James Grayson and Josh Bayliss shortlisted for Premiership Rugby Cup Breakthrough Player

James Grayson and Josh Bayliss shortlisted for Premiership Rugby Cup Breakthrough Player

Following on from a thrilling start to the first-ever Premiership Rugby Cup, Premiership Rugby are delighted to announce that Bath Rugby’s Josh Bayliss and James Grayson from Northampton Saints have been shortlisted for this season’s Premiership Rugby 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, Tom Collins and Adam Radwan.

Using OPTA match statistics, a forward and back from each round, along with two players with outstanding overall competition statistics, will form a ten-man shortlist, which will be submitted to a fan vote.

The winner will be announced prior to the Premiership Rugby Cup Final, with the lucky recipient also receiving a Promaster Tough 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

So now let’s take a look as to why Bayliss and Grayson are first on the list…

Forward – Josh Bayliss (Bath Rugby)

Age Position Mins Carries Metres Defenders Beaten Tackles Tackle %
21 Flanker 80 13 30 5 17 94%


Bath’s young back row Josh Bayliss put in an impressive shift at the weekend despite his side’s defeat against Harlequins. The 21-year-old was busy in both defence and attack, making 17 tackles and missing just one, as well as carrying 13 times – in fact, he was one of just six players to make a combined tally of 30+ carries and tackles in the opening round of the Premiership Rugby Cup, and only two forwards could better his tally of five defenders beaten.

Back – James Grayson (Northampton Saints)

Age Position Mins Points Tries Goals Kicked Try Assists Tackles Tackle %
20 Fly Half 60 19 1 6/8 1 12 100%


James Grayson played exactly an hour of Northampton’s victory over Bristol and made his presence known during his spell on the pitch. No player scored as many points as the Saints fly half who kicked six goals and crossed for a try. In fact, he was one of just four players to both score and assist a try in the opening round of the Premiership Rugby Cup. He was also strong in defence – only one back made more tackles than him and he was the only back to attempt more than eight tackles without missing at least one.


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