The Rugby Players Association (RPA) have today announced a brand-new campaign called “15 Under 23”, to highlight the young members who stand out each month this 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership season.
The campaign will run from October 2021 to April 2022, with the RPA nominating six players aged 23 and under who have shone for their side in all competitions* and will culminate in creating the ultimate Under 23 XV of the Season.
Fans will then get the chance to vote for their most valuable player (MVP) of the Month in a week long vote via the RPA’s official website.
The winners and all nominees will be put on the RPA long shortlist for the final “15 Under 23” which will be selected by the RPA’s Players Board 2021/22 next May.
The final team selection will be announced at the RPA Awards on 25th May 2022. Fans will also get the opportunity to vote for their ultimate XV for the chance of winning an exclusive prize.
The nominees for October’s MVP of the Month are:
- Max Ojomoh - Bath
- Nic Dolly - Leicester
- Ben Earl - Saracens
- Jack Kenningham - Harlequins
- Raffi Quirke - Sale
- Tommy Freeman – Northampton
The vote will open at 4pm on Wednesday 3rd November, with it closing on Wednesday 10th November at 12pm. The winner will be announced later that day.
To vote, click here:
Max Ojomoh from Bath had a fantastic October, following on from making his debut at the start of the season. That month, he played four games for Bath, making 106 metres from just 28 carries, and was an instrumental cog to Bath’s attack.
Nic Dolly has recently been called up to the England squad ahead of their Autumn Nation Series matches against Tonga, South Africa, and Australia, following a scintillating start to the season, where he has scored five tries in just six games. The hooker joined the Tigers in March, following a stint at Championship side Coventry.
Ben Earl returned to his parent club Saracens this season, following his year-long loan to Bristol Bears, and has started in great form. He made 55 tackles in the month of October and made a staggering 175 metres from 36 carries, scoring two tries. He also won five turnovers for Saracens, as they won four of their five games in the league.
Jack Kenningham had an impressive end to the 2020/21 season, helping Harlequins win the Gallagher Premiership, and being called up for the England summer International games. He has started the season continuing his great form, making 31 tackles from his three games in October.
Raffi Quirke started the season for Sale Sharks in terrific form. The young number nine had to miss the first two games in October due to injury, before returning to play Gloucester at Kingsholm and scoring a try late on in the side’s defeat. He then produced a Man of the Match performance at home to Harlequins in mid-October. He was rewarded with a call up to England’s squad for the Autumn Nation Series.
Tommy Freeman of Northampton Saints was called up by Eddie Jones to the England set up following a strong start to the season. Due to injuries, Tommy only made two appearances in the month of October, but they were ones to remember, as he made 217 metres from just 25 carries, making three clean breaks, and scoring two tries for the Saints.
*As of Gallagher Premiership Round 1