Ben Thomas picked up the prestigious Best Newcomer award at the 14th annual Principality Premiership awards dinner.
The Cardiff Blues academy star, a former pupil of Corpus Christi and Cardiff and Vale College, followed in the footsteps of Alun Wyn Jones, Tom James and Toby Faletau in collecting the award.
The former Wales U20 pivot played 19 games for the Blue and Blacks this season helping them claim their first silverware since 2009 with the National Cup victory and pushing Merthyr all the way to the finish, eventually finishing in second place.
He said, “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season. We’ve had a strong run and Steve Law has been massive for us, both in his recruitment and throughout the season. I’ve felt it’s been a really good stepping stone for me coming out of age grade rugby – both with the physicality and technical aspects. Learning from players like Martin Roberts and Morgan Allen has helped hugely.
“I was part of the Regional A side at the start of the season and it was a smooth transition for me after that, especially with Gethin Jenkins and TRT involved in both set-ups. Gethin has instilled a professionalism within the squad and put a new defensive structure in place. When you have someone like Gethin analysing your performances, you try not to miss your tackles!”
It is the second award Thomas has picked up in recent weeks having been crowned Cardiff Blues Academy Player of the Season.