Wasps wing Tom Howe has been voted the 2017 Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player.
The young winger came through the Wasps Academy having been educated at Shiplake College. He represented England u18 and U20 and will move to Worcester Warriors for the 2017/18 season, were he will arrive with some pedigree under his belt now, having joined England wingers Jack Nowell and Jonny May as a recipient of the award.
He topped a ten strong shortlist that also included Bath’s Zach Mercer, Harlequins’ James Chisholm, Gloucester’s Cameron Orr, Tom Whiteley of Saracens, Exeter Chiefs duo Sam Simmonds and Stuart Townsend, and soon to be teammate of Howe’s, Josh Adams of Worcester Warriors.
In addition sevens, Howe’s Wasps teammate Jack Willis came second in the voting, while Harry Mallinder of Northampton Saints came second.
Howe earned his place on the shotlist after his form in Round 2, when according to Opta statistics he gained 98 metres from eight carries, beating two defenders and making three clean breaks on his way to scoring a try and assisting another.
The competition is open to the best Under-23 players in the Anglo-Welsh Cup with shortlisted players being named after each round, along with a top performing forward and a top performing back chosen ahead of the semi finals.
The full shortlist was:
Zach Mercer – Bath
Josh Adams – Worcester Warriors
Sam Simmonds – Exeter Chiefs
Tom Howe – Wasps (1st)
James Chisholm – Harlequins
Stu Townsend – Exeter Chiefs
Harry Mallinder – Northampton Saints (2nd)
Cameron Orr – Gloucester
Jack Willis – Wasps (3rd)
Tom Whiteley – Saracens