Leicester Tigers’ back-rower Tommy Reffell says it was ‘special’ to pick up the Breakthrough Player Award.
And, in an exclusive interview with the club’s LTTV channel, he has opened up on his development in the East Midlands.
“There were a lot of very talented players on that shortlist, a lot that I played against in the tournament, and to get the award was special,” he said.
“As a young player, all you want to do is get on the field and just play rugby.
“The number of games I’ve played in this season, and the faith the coaches have shown in me … it’s gone even better than I’d planned.
“Obviously there are plenty of things for us to work on as a team over the next couple of weeks, but on a personal level I’ve been really happy with the opportunities I’ve been given to play for Leicester Tigers.”
The Pencoed-born forward – who stepped up to the Tigers senior squad for this season – explained how learning from the likes of Jordan Taufua, Sione Kalamafoni and Hanro Liebenberg in a competitive back row has helped develop his own game.
Reffell continued: “You’re always looking at how they do things around the training ground, on and off the pitch, how they use their voices in meetings, and you try and add it to your own way of doing things.”
And the proud Welshman was keen to put to bed any rumours that he might be venturing back across the Severn Bridge any time soon.
“I’ve seen a lot of things about me leaving the club that aren’t true,” he added.
“Leicester took me in as a young academy player, and this is a place I’ve really enjoyed growing up and moving into the senior rugby stage. I’m really enjoying it.”