Six of the brightest young Gallagher Premiership Rugby stars are today revealed on the shortlist for this season’s Land Rover Discovery of the Season award.
Players from Bath Rugby, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester Rugby, Harlequins, Northampton Saints and Sale Sharks have emerged in the race to be recognised as the most impressive young players in Gallagher Premiership Rugby, rewarding them for impressive impact they’ve made on the competition this season.
Players aged under-23 on 1 September 2018, and to have featured in eight or more Gallagher Premiership Rugby games, are eligible to win Land Rover Discovery of the Season.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday 22 May at the star-studded 2019 Premiership Rugby Awards, presented by Gallagher, and the full Land Rover Discovery of the Season shortlist is:
- Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
- Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
- Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)
- Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)
- Joe Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
- Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby)
“I would say the majority of players on the list would be in my Premiership Rugby team of the year,” said David Flatman, Land Rover Ambassador.
“That’s quite something when you think that they are just kids, but four or five of this six are probably among the best in their positions in the whole of Gallagher Premiership Rugby.
“It just goes to show the strength in depth of players coming through the ranks for their Premiership Rugby clubs and it’s brilliant in terms of the youth development in the league.
“It’s easy to stick young players in the gym and give them loads of broccoli and chicken, but to develop them and make them into good rugby players is significantly more difficult.
“It demonstrates that in certain environments there is some really good coaching of young players going on which is really important and it makes picking a shortlist really tough.
“Many of the previous winners of this award have gone on to earn international honours and it is a testament to the clubs and the players for the amount of work they put in.”
The shortlist was compiled by the following panel – Tom Hamilton (ESPN), Sonja McLaughlan (BBC), Corin Palmer (Premiership Rugby), Will Kelleher (Daily Mail) and Alex Lowe (The Times), while Paul Morgan (Premiership Rugby’s Communications Director) chaired the panel.
To celebrate the winning player’s achievement, the Land Rover Discovery of the Season Award winner will have the opportunity to become a Land Rover Ambassador for the 2019-20 season.
Past winners include Sam Simmonds, Ellis Genge, Maro Itoje, Henry Slade, Billy Vunipola, Joe Launchbury, Owen Farrell, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs, Jordan Turner-Hall, Danny Cipriani, Tom Rees, Tom Varndell and Ollie Smith.
Along with the winner of the Land Rover Discovery of the Season, the winners of the following awards will also be announced at the 2019 Premiership Rugby Awards, presented by Gallagher:
- Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Season
- Ricoh Director of Rugby of the Season
- BT Sport Dream Team
- Citizen Try of the Season
- Gallagher Community Player of the Season
- Premiership Rugby 7s Player of the Season
- Top Try Scorer of the Season
- Gilbert Golden Boot
The winners at the 2019 Premiership Rugby Awards, presented by Gallagher, will be announced first on Twitter via the @premrugby account. Use hashtag #PremRugbyAwards to join the conversation