The LV= Cup
The LV= Cup derives from the RFU Senior Knockout Cup, which has been played since 1972 and has been previously called the John Player, Pilkington, Tetley's Bitter, Powergen and EDF Energy cups.
The competition sees 12 Aviva Premiership clubs and four Welsh regions play over four weekends, followed by the semi-finals and final. Each team will be guaranteed two home and two away inter-pool fixtures, with the top teams from each pool qualifying for the knockout stages
Credited for playing a crucial role in the development of elite players, the LV= Cup is now entering its fourth season and has seen the likes of Charlie Sharples and Courtney Lawes progress through the competition and into the international set-up.
LV= Cup Final 2012-13
Photo: Getty Images
Harlequins secured their first piece of silverware of the season, lifting the LV= Cup at Sixways Stadium following a comprehensive 32-14 victory over Sale Sharks on March 23.
The Premiership title holders fielded a young team to tackle this LV= Cup Final, coming away the victors in a game they never looked liked losing.
Speaking to Sky Sports HD after the game, Tom Guest said: "It was great fun. All year the young boys in our team have stepped up to play and showed great heart, and won a few games we were maybe expected to lose. We just wanted to enjoy today and we certainly did that. We scored the points we needed to. It was a great achievement in the end."
LV= Breakthrough Player Award
Photo: RFU Archive
Exeter Chiefs wing, Jack Nowell, was named the 2012-13 LV= Breakthrough Player after a shortlist of ten nominees from the LV= Cup was put to a public vote.
The LV= Breakthrough Player Award is designed to recognise the next generation of young players under 23 competing in the LV= Cup; a competition renowned for developing future international stars.
Nowell’s eye-catching performances were backed up by the statisticians at Opta, who ranked him as the top performing back in the LV=Cup this season. Nowell beat more defenders and made more metres in attack than any other player in the competition, despite Chiefs' failure to reach the knock-out stages.
Truro-born Nowell follows in the footsteps of Gloucester Rugby’s Jonny May, winner of the inaugural LV= Breakthrough Player Award last year. Just as May went on to represent England that summer, so Nowell did last Friday, debuting for the England U20 team against Italy at Franklin’s Gardens – scoring two tries.
As part of the prize for winning the award, Nowell will chose a grassroots club of his choice to receive a £1,000 donation from LV=, as part of the tournament sponsor's commitment to fostering the development of future rugby stars.
Speaking at the announcement of the LV= Breakthrough Player Award, Nowell said: “To win the LV= Breakthrough Player Award is massive for me. The fact that it is voted for by rugby fans makes winning a huge honour, so thanks to everyone that voted for me. It is nice to be recognised for playing the game I love and spurs me on to keep doing what I am doing."
LV= Cup Questionnaire
To fill out the LV= Cup questionairre, click here.