Jacob Umaga up for Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player Award

Following on from the fourth round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup, Premiership Rugby have announced that Jacob Umaga has been shortlisted for this season’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player Award.

Umaga joins Wasps' Owain James on the list, with James nominated after round two of the competition.

Newcastle Falcons’ Adam Radwan and Ben Earl of Saracens were the first two names on the shortlist, while Gloucester Rugby’s Jake Polledri and Owain James of Wasps joined them after Round 2. Round 3 saw London Irish’s Joe Cokanasiga and Sione Vailanu of Saracens join the list.

Umaga was named on the shortlist alongside Stan South after outstanding performances in round four, so now let’s take a look as to why Umaga and South have joined them…

Back – Wasps fly-half Jacob Umaga

Minutes played: 80
Points scored: 15
Tries scored: 1
Carries: 7
Metres gained: 33
Clean breaks: 2
Try assists: 2

Great things are expected of Wasps’ Jacob Umaga and the 19-year-old showed us exactly why on Sunday. Playing at fly-half he completed the full 80 minutes and finished the weekend as the top points-scorer (15), thanks to a try and five conversions. When Umaga wasn’t scoring points himself he was providing the killer pass for his teammates, recording two try assists against Leicester Tigers – a tally no one could better at the weekend. He also made seven carries and hit double figures for completed tackles (10) as he showcased his all-round ability against the Tigers.

Forward – Harlequins lock Stan South

Minutes played: 80
Carries: 123
Passes: 7
Try assists: 1
Tackles: 11
Turnovers won: 1
Lineouts won: 4

Harlequins may have endured a tough game away to a strong Northampton Saints outfit on Friday night, but the efforts of second row Stan South did not go unnoticed. The 21-year-old lock put in an incredible shift, making 23 carries, the only player across the weekend to carry 20+ times. He also made 11 tackles, meaning he was one of just two second rows to hit double figures for both carries and tackles in Round 4. South showed good handling ability too during his 80 minutes, making seven passes, one of which led to a try for Harlequins as well as catching four lineouts – no Quins player claimed more.

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, 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 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.