Voting open for Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player Award
Date: 20 Feb 2018
Fans now have the chance to vote for the 2018 Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player, with Wasps' Owain James and Jacob Umaga up for the award.
Throughout the Anglo-Welsh Cup there has been an array of young talent on show, with some outstanding performances from fresh-faced players eager to make a name for themselves.
And now it’s over to you to select the winner by picking your favourite from the ten-strong shortlist below at www.new-heroes.com, with voting closing at midday on Monday 12 March.
Saracens No. 8 Ben Earl
Despite being on the end a last-gasp defeat to Harlequins, Saracens’ Ben Earl showed plenty of positives and shone at Allianz Park.
The 19-year-old made eight carries for an impressive 60 metres with ball in hand and assisted a try in the process, whilst also making a round-high 25 tackles, two more than any other player across the weekend.
Newcastle Falcons wing Adam Radwan
Adam Radwan was one of six players to cross the tryline more than once as Newcastle Falcons put a half century of points past Wasps.
No player gained as many metres as the Falcons wing (150), as he made three clean breaks and beat nine defenders during the triumph.
Gloucester flanker Jake Polledri
Gloucester’s rising star Jake Polledri was in the thick of the action as the Cherry and Whites secured an emphatic win over London Irish.
The powerful flanker hit double figures for both carries and tackles during his 80 minutes on the pitch, gained a whopping 75 metres, and topped off his man-of-the-match display with a try.
Wasps full-back Owain James
21-year-old Owain James made 79 metres from his 14 carries against Ospreys and put in another strong performance after a solid display against Newcastle Falcons the week before.
He also beat four defenders, while proving a threat even when he was tackled as he made three successful offloads, a tally only three players could better in that round.
Saracens No.8 Sione Vailanu
From Sione Vailanu’s 18 carries he beat an impressive 14 defenders for Saracens in their narrow defeat to Newcastle Falcons.
The 23-year-old made 158 metres, which was over 100 metres more than any other forward managed with ball in hand, and made an impressive 15 tackles throughout the match.
London Irish wing Joe Cokanasiga
Electric winger Joe Cokanasiga crossed for a hat-trick of tries in London Irish’s impressive 66-7 victory over Wasps – the only player to score more than twice in round three.
He also gained the most metres (163) of any player that weekend, while also ranking in the top three for defenders beaten, clean breaks and offloads in a stand-out performance for the Exiles.
Harlequins lock Stan South
Harlequins may have endured a tough game away to a strong Northampton Saints outfit but the efforts of second row Stan South did not go unnoticed, making 23 carries and 11 tackles on the night, the only player across the weekend to carry 20+ times.
South was one of just two second rows to hit double figures for both carries and tackles and was the only player across the weekend with over 20 carries.
Wasps fly-half Jacob Umaga
Playing at fly-half, Jacob Umaga 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, making seven carries and hitting double figures for completed tackles (10).
Ospreys flanker Will Jones
19-year-old Will Jones made an incredible 54 tackles in Ospreys’ Anglo-Welsh cup campaign, 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 in the competition.
He also won four turnovers for his side and with ball in hand beat six defenders from just 18 carries.
Saracens full-back Matt Gallagher
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.
Launched in 2012, the Breakthrough Player Award celebrates and recognises under-23 players who have stood out in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, 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 were shortlisted, with an additional forward and back chosen for their efforts during the competition as a whole.
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.