LEINSTER’S SCOTT PENNY has been named the Guinness Pro14 Next-Gen Star of the Season for 2020/21 following a superb campaign with the province, who last weekend landed a fourth straight league title by beating Munster at the RDS.
Now in his third season with the senior side, Penny enjoyed his best campaign yet and played an integral part in a Leinster team which won 14 of their 16 regular season Pro14 fixtures, playing the majority of his rugby at openside but also equipping himself well at number eight.
A Leinster player has won the Next-Gen Star award in four of the last five seasons, with Penny following in the footsteps of Caelan Doris (2019/20), Jordan Larmour (2017/18) and Joey Carbery (2016/17).
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The 21-year-old flanker beat Munster pair Gavin Coombes and Craig Casey to the award, as well as Glasgow Warriors’ Scott Dobie and Jac Morgan of the Scarlets.
Penny, who missed last weekend’s final through injury, featured in 11 Pro14 games and was the league’s joint top try-scorer, sharing that honour with Connacht wing Alex Wooton and Ulster’s Marcel Coetzee, with all three players finishing with nine tries to their name.
The award was voted for from a panel of 75-plus media, as well as former players and coaches from the competing Pro14 nations.
Last month, Penny spoke to The42 about his superb try-scoring return for a back row player.
“They’re all team tries, that’s what rugby is all about,” Penny said.
“It’s more about what you do around the pitch, support and tackling and carrying. It’s always good to get a try but at the end of the day it doesn’t mean that much.
“As a seven I think the one thing you want a team to be afraid of is your breakdown and your tackling. I would be hoping teams would be worrying more about that side of my game than scoring tries.”