11 March 2014, 3:56pm
Bath Rugby's rising star Ollie Devoto has been voted LV= Breakthrough Player for 2014.
Devoto was nominated for the LV= Breakthrough Player Award following his outstanding performances throughout all four pool stages of this season's LV=Cup, and won with just under 40% of the total vote. Like 2013 winner Jack Nowell, Devoto recorded the most impressive statistics, provided by Opta, of any back in the competition during the pool stages.
Despite his young age, Devoto has already made a serious impression for Bath Rugby at the Rec with a series of accomplished performances in the LV= Cup. In attack he has made 67 metres from 23 carries, proving his ability to beat defenders (four) and bring teammates into play (5 offloads) in the process. A tackle success rate of 90% shows his strength in defence and paired with three turnovers won, it's clear to see why the utility back has been named this season's LV= Breakthrough Player.
The LV=Breakthrough Player Award is designed to recognise the next generation of young players competing in the LV=Cup; a competition renowned for developing future international stars. Devoto follows in the footsteps of inaugural winner Jonny May and 2013 title holder Jack Nowell, both of whom featured in England's win against Wales at the weekend.
As part of the prize for winning the award, Devoto will choose a grassroots club of his choice to receive a £1,000 donation from LV=, all part of the tournament sponsors commitment to fostering the development of future rugby stars.
Devoto was surprised with the award by his fellow Bath players today. Commenting on the announcement, he said: "Winning LV= Breakthrough Player Award is a great feeling. To have the opportunity to give something back to Sherborne Rugby Club; a club that has really helped me get to this stage, is a massive honour. Thank you to everyone who voted for me!
"We all work extremely hard at Bath Rugby to set consistently high standards, so to be rewarded for that is both humbling and exciting. A lot of credit has go to my team mates and coaches, I'm happy I could repay their faith for putting me in big games like the ones I have played in during the LV=Cup."
Claire Jeromson, head of sponsorship at LV=, commented: "Congratulations to Ollie on winning the LV= Breakthrough Player Award. Ollie was joined on the shortlist for the award by some outstanding competition and fans voted in their thousands. It is incredibly exciting to see so many talented young players get given the chance to breakthrough for their clubs in the LV=Cup.
"Previous award winners Jack Nowell and Jonny May have gone on to represent England and we wish Ollie an equally successful rugby career."