Bath Rugby Academy back-row Zach Mercer has been shortlisted for the Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Award after the first round.
Mercer and Josh Adams from Worcester Warriors were judged by the statisticians at Opta to have made the biggest impact at the weekend.
The 19 year-old had an impressive game against Leicester Tigers, despite his side slipping to an agonising one-point defeat.
Mercer made more carries (19) than any other player during the opening weekend of the Anglo-Welsh Cup, gaining the second most metres (89) of any forward and the fifth most overall.
He was solid in defence and was part of a strong Bath lineout unit, taking four lineouts for his side. Although he didn’t get the try his tireless carrying deserved, he managed to assist one of Bath’s three tries, putting Jeff Williams through for the home side’s second try of the night.
LOs Won: 4
Defenders Beaten: 3
This year the competition is being supported by Citizen Watch UK who will provide the overall winner with the latest Citizen Skyhawk A-T watch and Gilbert who will supply £1,000 worth of kit to a grassroots club of the winner's choice.
The competition is open to the best Under-23 players in the Anglo-Welsh Cup with shortlisted players being named after each round. A public vote will decide the winner ahead of the Anglo-Welsh Cup Final, which is on Sunday 19 March at the Twickenham Stoop.
Launched in 2012, the Breakthrough Player Award celebrates and recognises those young players who have stood out in the tournament with previous winners including Jack Nowell, Jonny May, Tom Collins and Ollie Devoto.
Using Opta match statistics, a forward and back from each round, along with two players with outstanding overall competition statistics will form a shortlist, which will be submitted to a fan vote on www.new-heroes.com after Round 4 (4-6 February). The winner will be announced prior to the Anglo-Welsh Cup Final.