Aviva Premiership Discovery of the Season: who gets your vote?


Premiership Rugby today announced the shortlist for the Land Rover Discovery of the Season award. There have been breakthrough appearances across the Premiership this year, but what do you make of the shortlist? Do the likes of Billy Vunipola and George Ford belong on this list, given that they arguably ’emerged’ in the past couple of seasons?

Vote in the poll below and leave your thoughts in the comment section:

[poll id=”325″]

Past winners:
2012-13: Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)
2011-12: Owen Farrell (Saracens)
2010-11: Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
2009-10: Ben Youngs, (Leicester Tigers)
2008-9: Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
2007-8: Danny Cipriani (London Wasps)
2006-7: Tom Rees (London Wasps)
2005-6: Tom Varndell (Leicester Tigers)
2004-5: Ollie Smith (Leicester Tigers)

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

15 thoughts on “Aviva Premiership Discovery of the Season: who gets your vote?

    1. Priestland is still 9lbs heavier. No way will Gatland be wanting to reduce the average weight of his backs so probably needs to bulk up a bit before he can get a chance.

  1. I went for Owen Williams. He has really come through this year, from a relative unknown to being a really important cog in Leicesters season.

    Vunipola has obviously been brilliant, but he has been around for a few seasons now. Same with Ford, although I understand why they are on there.

    Looking down that list of past winners – makes me remember what a talent Tom Rees was. Genuinely believe he was set up to be absolutely world class. Would be England captain right now if it wasn’t for his unfortunate retirement.

  2. Williams for me. I was aware of Ford, Vunipola and Elliott prior to this season, Stooke has been part of arguably the most disappointing side in the league (not necessarily his fault), and while Watson has shown glimpses of real class, the responsibility Williams has managed to shoulder, not only for a young player, but in a new team, is very impressive.

  3. I’ve gone for Vunipola. Only reason not to go for him is if you don’t think he should be on the list in the first place. I reckon we’ll be discussing him in the context of a world XV come the end of the year, very special player.

    1. Completely agree with you on Vunipola. He will be world class in the not too distant future IMO.

      Only reason I didn’t go for him is because I don’t think he belongs on the list. Particularly as a Wasps fan, I remember him making his debut when was still at school against Quins in the match in Dubai – must have been 2011/12 season? He looked special then, and I’m still gutted that we couldn’t hold onto him.

      1. For reference, previous Prem apps before this season of each player:

        B Vunipola 30 , Ford 27, Elliot 24, Watson 8, Stooke / Williams 0.

        For me, that discounts the first three. Someone like Dave Ward who, although much older, would be a more worthy candidate as, in the purest sense of the word, he has been more of a ‘discovery’ this season.

          1. Williams played 10 games for the Scarlets first team – assume some of those are LV as well, so he is still very inexperienced going into this season.

      2. I remember that game too, and agree that he will be up there with the best in the not too distant future.

        Credit where it is due to Saracens, they have worked relentlessly on his fitness, and the results are visible in his physique and his work rate. Also the exposure to Heineken Cup rugby will also have helped his development. I’m not sure we would have seen him as much for England had he not made the move.

        Also, from what I’ve read in the papers (so could be completely false), money wasn’t the main motivating factor behind his move, although I’m sure as Saracens are involved there will be doubters.

        1. From what I understand, the reason for Billy’s move came from family pressures to play at the same club as his brother. Not financial; or at least that is what was said at the time of the move.

          1. He didn’t like playing against his brother regardless, and apparently it was his mum that put on a lot of pressure for him to move. They are both clearly very much influenced by their parents (judging from interviews), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing (at least they ignored their dad and didn’t play for Wales!). Wasps reportedly offered Billy a matching sum, but Billy moved because of family.

            I’d also point out that Billy lost a truly ridiculous amount of weight with Wasps and was still improving with them. He would have played in the previous 6 nations had it not been for injury. Having said all that, I can’t deny that Sarries have done fantastic things with him.

  4. What’s the actual award category?

    ‘Discovery’ is just the Land Rover marketing gimmick.

    Given the inclusion of well-known and capped players, guessing it’s just a basic young player award, in which case they’d all fit the criteria..

    Tough to pick!

    I’d go George Ford, guided Bath to the playoffs (almost) and has benefited massively from being No.1

  5. Went for Williams as he has been a revelation this season and might, according to the grapevine have scuppered FBs proposed move to Leicester.

    Stooke has been excellent for Glos, but I think he may be in the running for this award next year as this nomination was probably a year early for him.

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