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The 5 Prem players shortlisted for breakout star award

By Stefan Frost
Henry Arundell and Tommy Freeman /Getty

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Five breakout stars from this season’s Gallagher Premiership have been shortlisted for the Land Rover Discovery of The Season award. Players from London Irish, Harlequins, Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers have been commended for their performances and now stand a chance of being honoured at the 2022 Premiership Rugby Awards.

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To qualify for the trophy, they need to have been under 23 on 1 September and must have played in at least seven Premiership matches, constituting more than a quarter of the season.

The winner will follow in the footsteps of England stars Maro Itoje and Tom Curry and will be announced on 7 June. Below RugbyPass takes a look at the five contenders.

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Henry Arundell (London Irish)
Henry Arundell became a household name just under a month ago after he scored a sublime solo try against French giants Toulon in the Challenge Cup semi-finals. The 19-year-old winger made his professional debut for London Irish back in February and has since surged into the mainstream. His ability to accelerate and remain agile at high speed has caught the eye of many coaches, not least Eddie Jones, who decided to include the teenager in his 36-man training squad for England’s upcoming test series against Australia.

Harry Arundell

Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers)
Ollie Chessum joined the Tigers in the summer of 2020 from Nottingham and has come into his own this campaign. The versatile lock has been a centrepiece of the imperious Leicester lineout and has improved as a ball carrier. He went on to get an England call-up as a result of his form leading up to February and subsequently made his international debut against Italy in the Six Nations. Chessum’s ability to play as a second row or back row forward has impressed Eddie Jones, who compared the youngster to England stalwart Courtney Lawes.

Chessum England debut
(Photo by Dan Mullan/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)
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Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints)
Since making his debut for the Saints in 2020 at the age of 19, Tommy Freeman has fast become one of the rising talents in the Premiership. His preferred position is fullback but the Englishman can just as easily play on the wing. His versatility and finishing earnt him a place in Jones’ senior squad for the 2021 Autumn Internationals. Freeman did not feature in any of the three tests but has continued to improve regardless, finishing the Premiership season with an impressive 12 tries, scored in 13 games. Off the back of that Freeman is part of the 36-man England training squad picked for this summer.

Tommy Freeman
(Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

Hugh Tizard (Harlequins)
Hugh Tizard joined Harlequins at the age of 16 and had to wait until this season to break into the first team set up. The physicality and impressive dexterity which he brings when carrying the ball has made Tizard stand out in a team already stacked with stars. He’ll be swapping Quins for another talent-laden side soon however, having confirmed that he would be joining Saracens ahead of the 2022–23 season. Tizard represented England at Under-20s level but is yet to get a senior international nod.

Leicester Tigers Reffell Wigglesworth
Leicester Tigers’ Richard Wigglesworth celebrates scoring his sides second try with Leicester Tigers’ Tommy Reffell (Photo by Bob Bradford – CameraSport via Getty Images)
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Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers)
Tommy Reffell is no stranger to breakthrough player awards. The Leicester flanker won the Premiership Rugby Cup Breakthrough Player award in March 2020, a year after he captained the Wales under-20s. Reffell has fast become a leader in the Tigers pack, commanding the defensive line stoically. Following much debate over which international allegiance Reffell would choose, it was announced in May 2022 that he would be part of the Wales squad set to tour South Africa.

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