Vunipola up for Breakthrough Player award
Manu Vunipola has been nominated for the Premiership Rugby Cup Breakthrough Player award.
The Saracens Academy fly-half joins teammate Sean Reffell on the shortlist after excelling performance in Round 3 at Northampton Saints.
Minutes – 80
Tries – 1
Goal kicking – 100%
Metres – 50
Breaks – 4
Defenders Beaten – 6
Tackles – 12
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 and Jonny May, while last year’s gong was taken home by James Grayson as he led Northampton Saints to the title.
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 Premiership Rugby Cup final, with the lucky recipient also receiving a watch courtesy of Premiership Rugby partner Citizen.
Vunipola crossed for an excellent individual try at Franklin’s Gardens, selling a dummy before running in under the sticks and was successful with all of his place kicks (4/4).
In total, he gained 50 metres, made four clean breaks, beat six defenders and was also on top in defence making 12 tackles.
The 19-year-old has been to the list consisting of Sarries’ Sean Reffell, Aaron Hinkley of Gloucester Rugby, Harlequins’ Gabriel Ibitoye, Tommy Reffell of Leicester Tigers and Worcester Warriors’ Ollie Lawrence.