(Photo: Getty Images)
By Jake Jones
Gloucester duo Ruan Ackermann and Jake Polledri front up the list of candidates for this years’ Land Rover Discovery of the Year award at the Premiership’s Rugby Awards Dinner.
The other candidates comprise of Wasps’ openside flanker, Jack Willis, Exeter Chiefs’ number eight Sam Simmonds and Worcester Warriors’ wing Josh Adams.
The shortlist was compiled by the following panel – David Flatman (Land Rover Ambassador), Tom Hamilton (EPSN Scrum), Sonja McLaughlan (BBC), Nick Purewal (Press Association), Gavin Mairs (Telegraph), Alex Lowe (The Times) and Jonny Fordham (The Sun), while Paul Morgan (Premiership Rugby’s Communications Director) chaired the panel.
Journey to the club: During the 2016/17 season Polledri had a breakthrough season at Hartpury RFC helping them gain promotion from National League One to the RFU Championship. Those performances earned him a first professional contract with Gloucester, signing for three years.
International caps: Italy-One cap, made his debut in the 2018 six nations defeat against Scotland
Journey to the club: Henley College, Wasps Academy
International honours: No caps to date but on the periphery of Eddie Jones’ plans for the future.
Journey to the club: After being released by the Scarlets following only one appearance in 2015, Adams has gone on to play 24 times for Worcester scoring thirteen times in his debut season for the Warriors.
International honours: Wales-Two caps, made his debut in the 2018 six nations win against Scotland
Journey to the club: Following the conclusion of the 2016/17 season, Ackermann decided to follow his father, Johan to Gloucester, who had recently joined the club as Head Coach.
International honours: No caps as of yet but open to the possibility of playing for England in the future.
Journey to the club: After coming through the Exeter Chiefs’ academy, Simmonds made his debut for the senior side in 2012 in the Anglo Welsh Cup versus London Welsh. Simmonds made his Premiership bow in February 2017 against Wasps, earning the Man of the Match award.
International honours: England- Seven caps, made his debut in the 2017 autumn internationals victory against Argentina
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