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London Irish star named Premiership Rugby Player of the Month!



London Irish is proud to announce that Benhard Janse van Rensburg has been awarded the Gallagher Premiership Player of the Month for January.

He is the first London Irish player to pick up the award in over a decade, edging out Ben White, Ollie Hassell-Collins and 13 others on the 16-man shortlist who were for their contributions over the last month.

The South African centre has been ever-present for the Exiles in his two years so far with the Club, earning 16 more appearances this season to the 29 accrued in his maiden campaign.

Arriving at Irish ahead of the 2021/22 season, Janse van Rensburg has scored 14 tries so far for the Club, with three of those coming in the Premiership this season.

He dotted down for the Exiles in a 23-7 win over Bristol Bears to open the calendar year in the league, also making the third-most gain line carries (six) and 10th-most carries (14) league wide in Round 15.

Janse van Rensburg made five tackles, 13 passes and 39 metres with ball in hand that day, Irish’s linchpin following up his performance with important contributions on derby day against Harlequins as the Exiles stormed to a 42-24 victory.

The centre was presented the award by Jacob Fordham (above), Business Development Executive at Gallagher, who described him as a “highly worthy winner” and “at the heart of the team”.

Ugo Monye also praised the midfielder as “one of the pillars of Irish’s game”.

Janse van Rensburg has made the fourth-most gain line carries (63), joint-seventh most turnovers won (11) and 10th-most carries (116) across the Premiership this season.

Northampton Saints wing James Ramm and London Irish scrum-half Ben White tied for the runners-up spot, with Nick David of Harlequins fourth.

As part of his prize for being named Gallagher Player of the Month, Janse van Rensburg wins a shirt signed by the whole London Irish squad and framed by Gallagher to gift to a charity of his choice, to help raise funds for its chosen cause.

Janse van Rensburg was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in January 2023, alongside a public poll on the Premiership Rugby app.

The judges were: Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Alex Lowe (The Times) Hugh Godwin (I), Andrew Baldock (Press Association), John Everly (Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle) Jill Douglas (Broadcaster), Craig Swayne (The Good, The Bad and The Rugby), Chris Jones (BBC 5 Live), David Rogers (Getty Images) and Tom Hamilton (ESPN).

The panel was chaired by Paul Morgan, Premiership Rugby’s Communications Director.


Congratulations Benhard!


Winners in the 2022-23 season

January – Benhard Janse van Rensburg (London Irish)

December – Rob du Preez (Sale Sharks)

November – Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby)

October – Alex Goode (Saracens)

September – Theo McFarland (Saracens)


Winners in the 2021-22 season

March – George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons)

February – Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers)

January – André Esterhuizen (Harlequins)

December – George Ford (Leicester Tigers)

November – Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints)

October – George Ford (Leicester Tigers)

September – Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons)


Winners in the 2020-21 season

May – Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)

April – Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby)

March- Danny Care (Harlequins)

February – Marcus Smith (Harlequins)

January – Piers O’Conor (Bristol Bears)

December – Alfie Barbeary (Wasps)

November – Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)


Winners in the 2019-20 season

August – Jack Willis (Wasps)

May– Paul Hill and Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints)*

April – Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)

March – Jamal Ford-Robinson (Gloucester Rugby)

February – Charles Piutau (Bristol Bears)

January – Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)

December – Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby)

November – Tom O’Flaherty (Exeter Chiefs)


* Gallagher ran public polls while play was suspended to nominate a ‘Community Player of the Month’ in recognition of inspiring off-pitch performances made by players during lockdown to support their local communities and boost the morale of the wider rugby community.


Winners in the 2018-19 season

April – Francois Hougaard (Worcester Warriors)

March – Santiago Cordero (Exeter Chiefs)

February – Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)

December – Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints)

November – Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby)

October – Alex Goode (Saracens)

September – Danny Cipriani (Gloucester Rugby)


Winners in the 2017-18 season

April – Vereniki Goneva (Newcastle Falcons)

March – Joe Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)

February – Jack Willis (Wasps)

December – Josh Adams (Worcester Warriors)

November – Ruan Ackermann (Gloucester Rugby)

October – Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)

September – Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)


Winners in the 2016-17 season

April – Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby)

March – Christian Wade (Wasps)

February – James Short (Exeter Chiefs)

December – Tom Varndell (Bristol Rugby)

November – Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers)

October – Mako Vunipola (Saracens)

September – Jimmy Gopperth (Wasps)


Winners in the 2015-16 season

April – Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints)

March – Francois Hougaard (Worcester Warriors)

February – George Smith (Wasps)

January – Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs)

December – Maro Itoje (Saracens)

November – Nathan Hughes (Wasps)

October – Nick Evans (Harlequins)


Winners in the 2014-15 season

April – Joe Simpson (Wasps)

March – Elliot Daly (Wasps)

February – Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)

January – Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)

December – Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints)

November – Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs)

October – Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby)

September – Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)


Winners in the 2013-14 season

April – Chris Ashton (Saracens)

March – Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks)

February – Vereniki Goneva (Leicester Tigers)

January – Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)

December – Nick Easter (Harlequins)

November – George Ford (Bath Rugby)

October – Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints)

September – Jacques Burger (Saracens)

Content & Images from – London Irish Rugby





Sale Sharks have agreed a deal to sign Fiji captain Waisea Nayacalevu from French Top14 side Toulon. 

The explosive centre, who starred for his country during the recent World Cup, has signed a one-year contract with an option for a further year. 

He will join up with Alex Sanderson’s Sharks squad ahead of the start of the 2024/25 Gallagher Premiership season. 

Waisea, 33, said: “I’ve watched the Premiership for a long time and it’s always been in the back of my mind that I would love to play there one day and experience rugby in England. 

“Now that opportunity has arrived and I’m really, really happy and grateful. I’m so excited to get over there and join the boys and see how I can contribute to the team. 

“I have spoken to Telusa Veainu and he only has positive things to say about the club and about Manchester. 

“I’m looking forward to playing with some of the guys I’ve played against, like Tom Curry and George Ford. But I also know there are a lot of really talented young players in the Sale Sharks squad and I’m excited to share my experience and help them develop as much as I can.  

“I told Alex that it’s what I’ve been doing for the last few years of my career and it’s something I’m passionate about.” 

Nayacalevu, who stands at 6’4” and weighs in at 16st 7lb, spent ten years at Top14 side Stade Français before making the switch to Toulon in 2022.  

He has won 34 caps for Fiji, slotting in at both centre and on the wing, and captained his country at last year’s World Cup, where the Pacific Islanders made the quarter-finals, losing 30-24 to England in Marseille. 

He also famously scored for Fiji in their memorable pre-World Cup win against England at Twickenham. 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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Falcons star to join Saracens



Phil Brantingham to join Saracens

Tuesday 05 March 2024 Written by: Tom Grisedale

Prop-forward Phil Brantingham will leave Newcastle Falcons in the summer to join Saracens.

The 22-year-old has played 25 games for his home town club, and leaves with the thanks and best wishes of everyone at the Falcons.

Chairman of rugby Matt Thompson said: “Phil has done well for us and we made him a good offer to stay here.

“We respect his decision and wish him all the best for his move in the summer, but between now and then he will be fully committed to finishing the season strongly for Newcastle Falcons.”

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby

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Sale Sharks can confirm that forward Cobus Wiese will leave the club at the end of the season to return to South Africa. 

The 26-year-old lock has played almost 80 games for the club and scored five tries since joining from the DHL Stormers ahead of the 2020/21 season. 

He played a key role last year as Sale reached the Premiership final, and this season he has featured a further 13 times for Alex Sanderson’s side. 

Alex said: “Cobus will be missed by all of us on so many levels. He’s the most polite and courteous of people off the field, but the most wildly excitable man on the field, and on a night out. 

“To say Cobus wears his heart on his sleeve is to do him a disservice with regards to his emotional commitment for which his body has paid the price on occasion.  

“He leads by example and has earnt the respect and adoration of the group both on a professional and a personal level. We wish him every success and happiness with his move back home.” 

Everyone at Sale Sharks would like to thank Cobus for his contribution to the club and the team during his time here and we wish him all the very best for the future.  

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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