Young Ospreys flanker, Will Jones, has been included in a 10-man shortlist for the Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player Award after shining for the Ospreys during their campaign.
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 Jones and Saracens’ Matt Gallagher added to the 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.
After coming on as a replacement in Ospreys’ first Anglo-Welsh Cup match Jones went on to start the next three games.
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.
The final shortlist in full:
- 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