World Cup winner Lewis Moody has hailed hot prospect Zach Kibirige, who has been nominated for the LV= Breakthrough Player Award after his sterling performances in the competition this season.
The 19-year-old is currently on international duty with England Under-20s during the Six Nations and is set to grace Kingston Park this Friday against Wales Under-20s (kick-off 7.45pm).
But it was Kibirige’s strong showing in round 3 of the LV= Cup when the Teesside flyer carried for more than 100 metres that has really caught the Falcons faithful's attention.
“Zach has had a ridiculous run of form recently,” said Moody.
“For me I always enjoy giving these youngsters the chance to play. It certainly gave me and Geordan Murphy and those guys an opportunity when maybe in the early 2000’s you wouldn't have had it.”
Kirbirige is one of ten 2014 LV= Breakthrough Player Award nominees with the winner to be announced prior to the LV= Cup Final at Sandy Park on March 16 and LV= will donate £1,000 to a grassroots rugby initiative of the winner’s choice.
And Moody is confident that the Falcons speedster, who has spent time on dual registration with Blaydon this season, will come back from his England Under-20’s duty much improved.
“You'd like to think he will get more chances,” added the World Cup winner.
“I think Zach’s in a good place if he’s going to get recognition but it’s amazing how many of these guys came through the England youth set-up.
“Zach is one of them as well and he showed great form when he played for England and he’s continuing now. That’s important when you get the opportunities at Premiership level.”
The LV=Cup, watch the next generation break through. For more information on the LV= Breakthrough Player Award and voting, visit www.LV.com/rugby