Jan 30, 2018
Sione Vailanu shortlisted for Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player Award
Following the third round of Anglo-Welsh Cup action last weekend Sione Vailanu has been shortlisted for this season’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player Award by Premiership Rugby.
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, along with two players with outstanding overall competition statistics, will form a ten-man shortlist, which will be submitted to a fan vote.
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.
Newcastle Falcons’ Adam Radwan and Saracens own Ben Earl were the first two names on the shortlist, while Gloucester Rugby’s Jake Polledri and Owain James of Wasps joined them after Round 2.
Vailanu, making only his second club appearance, had impressive day on Saturday making 18 carries and beating 14 defenders – more than any other player has managed in an Anglo-Welsh Cup game this season. His 158-metre gain was the second most overall at the weekend (behind Joe Cokanasiga) and it was over 100 metres more than any other forward managed with ball in hand. He also made an impressive 15 tackles, boasting a 94% tackle success rate.
Saracens No.8 Sione Vailanu:
Minutes played: 80
Metres gained: 158
Defenders beaten: 14
Clean breaks: 3
Try assists: 1