Ford is joined on the shortlist by Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Matthew Morgan (Ospreys) and Liam Williams (Scarlets).
The winner of the LV=Cup Breakthrough Player Award is now in the hands of supporters, who can make their choice by visiting www.lv.co.uk/rugby
The player with the highest number of nominations will receive a Tag Heuer watch, £1,000 donated to a local grassroots club of their choice and the inaugural LV= Cup Breakthrough Player trophy.
The winner of the award, which is designed to recognise a young player who has stood out in the 2011-12 competition, will be announced on Tuesday, March 13. Voting will close at midnight on Sunday, March 11.
The LV= Cup Final will be played at Sixways, Worcester on Sunday, March 18. Secure two tickets for just £20 with a 2-for-1 offer on the first 1,000 tickets. Tickets are available now on 01905 454183 or at www.warriors.co.uk