10 May 2023
London Irish duo Tom Pearson and Paddy Jackson have been awarded the Breakthrough Player of the Season and Premiership Rugby Top Points Scorer, respectively, at the 2022/23 Premiership Rugby Awards.
The Exiles pairing attended the event on Wednesday (10th) evening at The Brewery in the capital to receive the coveted gongs.
Tom Pearson has excelled in his second full year in west London, taking the Premiership by storm from the back-row and has now been crowned the Breakthrough Player of the Year for the 2022/23 season.
It is the third league-wide award that Pearson has won in as many months, also being awarded the Rugby Players’ Association’s 15 Under-23 March MVP, as well as the Gallagher Premiership Player of the Month for March.
Pearson’s acclaim should come as little surprise, the 23-year-old finished the regular season of the Premiership with the second-most tackles (235), third-most turnover wins (21) and the seventh-most gain line carries (86).
In Irish green this term, the flanker has registered an impressive seven tries in 18 appearances in the Premiership, showing progress at the whitewash after dotting down three times in all competitions the season previous.
He was also named in the BT Sport Dream Team of the 2022/23 season, Irish's sole representative in the nominated squad.
The award makes it back-to-back wins for London Irish players at the end-of-season party, with Pearson’s teammate Henry Arundell picking up the Land Rover Discovery of the Season trophy in 2022.
Paddy Jackson amassed 205 points in the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership regular season, five more than last season in three less games.
He dotted down on four occasions this year against Bristol Bears, Newcastle Falcons and Bath Rugby (2) to contribute to the leading total.
The 31-year-old fly-half exceeded double-figure hauls in 10 of his league games this campaign, with his highest return of 19 points twice coming in home wins over Newcastle Falcons and Saracens.
Former Ireland international Jackson averaged 10.25 points per game across his 20 Premiership outings as an Exile this term, helping steer the Club to their highest league footing since 2009.
Jackson becomes the fourth Irish player to win the award, following on from Jarrod Cunningham (1999/00), Barry Everitt (2001/02) and Tom Homer (2011/12).
Elsewhere, Hugh O’Sullivan was recognised for his work with the London Irish Foundation's Homeless BEAT Project, Project Rugby and the London Irish Wild Geese by being nominated for Community Player of the Season, presented by Funding Circle, with the award given to former Exile Sean Maitland on the night.