- Cowan-Dickie and Kibirige join LV= Breakthrough Player shortlist
- Award designed to recognise outstanding talent
Photo: Getty Images
Three weeks after 2013 LV= Cup Breakthrough Player Award winner Jack Nowell was called up to the England squad, two more promising players have been added to the 2014 shortlist.
Despite the club’s heavy Round 3 defeat at the hands of Saracens, Newcastle Falcons find themselves represented in the shortlist with England U20 wing Zach Kibirige; the England U20 gaining over 100 metres during the game. He is joined in the Round 3 nominations by Exeter hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, whose impressive performance helped the Chiefs secure five tries in their win over Ospreys.
Luke Cowan-Dickie, Exeter Chiefs
Luke Cowan-Dickie, an established England Under-20 international, was heavily involved in Exeter’s five tries to four defeat of Ospreys at the weekend. In 62 minutes on the field, the hooker made eight carries for a gain of 33 metres. Given that the 20-year-old didn’t break any tackles or the defensive line, his average gain appears all the more healthy. In defence he did not miss a tackle, but most importantly he scampered over the line for two tries which ultimately proved the difference in this entertaining match. At the throw in, he found his man with seven of nine lineouts.
Lineout Success 78%
Photo: Getty Images
Zach Kibirige, Newcastle Falcons
This winger has already been recognised by England Under-20s and should he continue the form he showed in a losing side at the weekend, he could become a highly sought after talent for years to come. Kibirige was one of only two players to gain over 100 metres at the weekend and this was thanks to his brilliance with ball in hand rather than volume of carries. He beat six defenders (only two men managed more over Round 3) and made three initial clean breaks in his six carries, helping him to a gain of 110 metres. Elsewhere, he made seven ball collections from kicks, restarts and loose balls and made three tackles. However his game was not without fault, he did turnover the ball twice and he did fail to prevent a try by missing a tackle. However, Kibirige’s array of attacking skills were there for all to see at Allianz Park and this looks to be the beginning of a very promising career.
Defenders Beaten 6
Initial Breaks 3
Launched in September 2011, the LV= Breakthrough Player Award is designed to recognise the wealth of impressive young talent on show in the competition. Two players from each round, along with two 'wildcard' players, who have strong overall competition statistics; compiled by Opta, will form a shortlist which will be submitted to a fan vote on www.lv.com/rugby.
Fans will vote for the winner of the LV= Breakthrough Player Award from the end of Round Four until 9am on Monday, March 10. The winner will be announced prior to the LV= Cup Final and LV= will donate £1,000 to a grassroots rugby initiative of the winner's choice.
The LV= Cup, watch the next generation break through. For more information on the LV= Breakthrough Player Award and voting, visit www.LV.com/rugby