Tom Willis nominated for Premiership Rugby Cup Breakthrough Player Award

Date: 13 Nov 2018

Wasps Academy back row Tom Willis has 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

Willis and Saracens’ Tom Whiteley have been added to the list this week, with Josh Bayliss of Bath Rugby, Northampton Saints’ James Grayson, Ted Hill of Worcester Warriors and Sale Sharks’ Arron Reed having already found their way onto it following the opening two rounds.

Tom Willis (Wasps - Round 3 performance)
Age - 19
Position – Number eight
Minutes - 80
Carries - 15
Metres - 50
Clean Breaks – 2
Defenders Beaten - 4
Offloads - 3
Tackles - 16
Tackle % - 100%

In 2016/17 Jack Willis was nominated as a wildcard for the Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough award. Fast-forward two seasons and it’s younger brother Tom’s turn to receive a nomination for the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Willis was relentless against Bristol Bears despite finishing on the losing side last weekend as he was the only player in Round 3 to make 15 carries and more than 15 tackles.

He made two breaks, beat four defenders and gained 50 metres from his 15 carries, while no forward made more successful offloads than the young back row.

He also made all 16 of his attempted tackles and won a turnover for his side in an impressive all-round performance.