Premiership Rugby have announced the first two nominees for the Premiership Rugby Cup Breakthrough Player Award, with James Grayson nominated as breakthrough back from round one of the competition.
Scoring some 19 of Saints' 51 points last weekend, including crossing the whitewash for his first score in Black, Green and Gold, Grayson has been named alongside Josh Bayliss of Bath Rugby in the nominees from the first round.
Grayson – who played exactly an hour of Northampton’s victory over Bristol Bears – made his presence known during his spell on the pitch last weekend. No player scored as many points as the Saints fly-half and he was one of just four players to both score and assist a try in the opening round of the Premiership Rugby Cup.
And the young Saint was also strong in defence, with only one back making more tackles than Grayson across the competition.
Launched in 2012, the Breakthrough Player Award celebrates and recognises under-23 players who have stood out in the tournament, with previous winners including the likes of Exeter Chiefs' Jack Nowell, Leicester Tigers' Jonny May, Newcastle Falcons' Adam Radwan and Saints' own Tom Collins.
Using OPTA match statistics, a forward and back from each round, along with two players with outstanding overall competition statistics, will form a ten-man shortlist, which will be submitted to a fan vote.
The winner will be announced prior to the Premiership Rugby Cup Final, with the lucky recipient also receiving a Promaster Tough watch courtesy of Premiership Rugby partner Citizen, while Gilbert, Official Ball and Rugby Clothing Partner of Premiership Rugby, will supply £1,000 worth of kit to a grassroots club of the winner’s choice.