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LV= Cup news

LV= Young Player of the Year Award

Congratulations to George Ford, winner of the LV= Young Player of the Year Award at the 2014 RPA Awards on Wednesday night.

Bath Rugby's Ford, a nominee for the 2012 LV= Breakthrough Player Award, beat some fantastic upcoming talent on the night including 2013 Breakthrough Player winner Jack Nowell of Exeter Chiefs.

LV= Breakthrough Player Ollie Devoto gives £1k donation to Sherborne RFC

This week, 2014 LV = Breakthrough Player Ollie Devoto presented Sherborne RFC with the £1,000 donation which he received as a result of winning the award; a club that developed him through age grade rugby and where his father still coaches.

Designed to recognise the next generation of young players competing in the competition, the LV= Breakthrough Player Award was presented to Devoto this year following his outstanding performances throughout all four pool stages. Like 2013 winner Jack Nowell, Devoto recorded the most impressive statistics, provided by Opta, of any back in the competition during the pool stages.

As part of the prize for winning the award, Devoto was able to choose a grassroots club of his choice to receive a £1,000 donation from us - all part of our commitment to foster the development of future rugby stars.

Sherborne RFC have been a huge part of my life since I was a boy, and it’s here that my love of rugby came from,” said Devoto. “They’ve always been hugely supportive of my career, and still bring groups of kids to come and watch me play for Bath, so to be able to give something back to them that will benefit them so much is great.

Ollie Devoto, winner of the LV= Breakthrough Player Award

Festival of rugby

Next week’s LV = Cup Final promises to be much more than just a mouth-watering clash between two of the country’s best sides, as Exeter, the host for this season’s final, will also be hosting a festival of rugby. And it’s free!

Taking place in Princesshay Square in the city centre between 12pm and 4pm, there’s plenty going on to entertain fans including face painting, live music, games and the chance for youngsters to test their skills against Exeter Chiefs players. And don’t worry if you were hoping to catch the England game, it’ll be shown on the big screen when it kicks off at 1.30pm.

The Final itself will take place on Sunday 16 March at Sandy Park, and tickets will be available from the Finalist clubs.

LV= Cup Final at Sandy Park

We’re delighted to announce that this seasons LV= Cup Final will be played at Sandy Park, home of Exeter Chiefs, on Sunday 16 March.

A state-of-the-art venue, and home to the 2013 Breakthrough Player Award winner Jack Nowell, Sandy Park will showcase some of the best up and coming rugby talent in the country as well as providing a memorable experience for fans.

We made the announcement at the launch of the 2013/14 LV= Cup, also held at Sandy Park. Joined by LV= Cup Ambassador Lewis Moody and Nowell, we gave fans the chance to represent their club at the event. The lucky supporters gathered at the stadium for a photo session before putting their rugby skills to the test with LV= Cup players.

Be part of the rugby family at the LV=Cup Final at Sandy Park, Exeter on March 16th. Tickets now available

Young boy holding the LV= cup with players and supporters in the background

My Rugby Family with Lewis Moody

One of the defining moments of my career came while I was still at school. Up until I was around 17 I had played centre but, during a county under-18 trial match, a coach called Brian Welford switched me to openside.

He was pivotal in terms of putting me in the right position. I might otherwise have continued being an average centre for the rest of my career.

While I was at school, I was also coached by Ian Smith at Leicester Tigers. He instilled in me belief, drive and understanding of the manner in which I should play the game.

Ian was a former openside flanker, so it was through him that I understood how to play in the back row. He also epitomised everything that, for me, was great about the game, and gave me a desire and motivation to play the way that I did.

Ian was such a charismatic figure that I always wanted to do well for him when I went out to play for the school or in my first year at the Tigers.

He sat me down before my first game at Welford Road when I was just 17. I was so nervous and about to play alongside the likes of Dean Richards and Rory Underwood, but he just told me to go out and do what I normally do.

Bob Dwyer, the next Leicester coach, was also hugely influential. He gave me my first start in the league when I was 18 and without him I probably would have waited a long time to get a start. Back then, younger players had to do their time before getting a chance but Bob put a number of us into the side.

Although he only lasted another year, I owe a lot to him for believing in me at such an early age.

Interview courtesy of the Daily Telegraph, for more rugby family interviews with players and figures from the game, visit

LV=, County Gates, Bournemouth, BH1 2NF, UK