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Premiership

Rob du Preez named Gallagher Player of the Month

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SALE SHARKS are flying high in Gallagher Premiership Rugby and one of the players who has been instrumental in their rise, Rob du Preez has today been named Gallagher Player of the Month for December 2022.

Du Preez, the top scorer in Gallagher Premiership Rugby, with 133 points to his name was today acclaimed by BT Sport pundit and Gallagher ambassador, Ugo Monye.

Monye said: “Sale Sharks have been putting in rounded team performances, the most I have seen from Sharks in quite a long while, and of course, Rob has been crucial to that.

“He has been really commanding, leading with his actions on the pitch whether it has been gameplay, control, goal kicking, his all-round game has been fantastic in December.

“He has added some really impressive try-scoring form of late whether that be in the Gallagher Premiership Rugby or Europe. Sharks are sat there in second in Gallagher Premiership Rugby and really playing in quite a groove.

“They could still chase down Saracens in the top spot, and they have given themselves a buffer because they have beaten teams up and down the league as well as the ones around them.

“So, that result at the weekend getting five points and denying Harlequins anything shows that they can get points off teams that are targeting those top two spots.” 

Andy Newby, (above with Rob), Sales Director at Gallagher, who presented the award said:

“We are delighted to present the award for Gallagher Player of the Month to Rob for his performance in December. The Sharks have now established a good distance between them and Harlequins in third place and Rob has played a key role in helping them achieve this. 

“Drawing on his international experience he has become a key member of Alex Sanderson’s squad and will continue to play a pivotal role in the team’s success during the rest of Gallagher Premiership Rugby this season.” 

Saracens outside-half Owen Farrell was the runner-up this month with London Irish’s Ollie Hassell-Collins third. Monye is delighted to see the way the Sharks are not only performing on the pitch but off it.

He added: “They sold out their last game at the AJ Bell, so it is not just what the team is doing but the community is getting really excited about what they have up there. 

“It says a lot about the side that Alex Sanderson is building up there, you can often see the personality of a director of rugby run right throughout the team and Alex as a player and a coach is very detailed around the fundamentals of the game.

“He respects the fundamentals and so does the team, they are a hard-working side with the best defence in the league and they have layered some great attack on top of that.

“They are the attributes that you need to be really competitive, so it is no surprise that they are sat where they are.”
As part of his prize for being named Gallagher Player of the Month, Du Preez wins a shirt signed by the whole Sale Sharks squad and framed by Gallagher to gift to a charity of his choice, to help raise funds for its chosen cause.

Du Preez was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in December 2022, 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.

Winners in the 2022-23 season
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)

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby


Premiership

Irish name side for west London derby

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Declan Kidney has confirmed the squad for Sunday’s derby clash with Harlequins at the Gtech Community Stadium in Round 16 of the Gallagher Premiership (3pm kick-off).

Will Goodrick-Clarke, Agustin Creevy and Oliver Hoskins are in the front row, with Rob Simmons and Adam Coleman in the second row.

Matt Rogerson captains the side from the six jersey and is joined in the back row by Tom Pearson and Chandler Cunningham-South.

Ben White and Paddy Jackson link up to form the halfback duo, and Rory Jennings partners Benhard van Rensburg in the centres.

Michael Dykes, Lucio Cinti and James Stokes complete the line-up as the back three.

“Whenever these two clubs pitch up against one another, it always creates a good game of rugby,” said Declan Kidney, Director of Rugby.

“I know that we are expecting a good crowd at the Gtech Community Stadium on Sunday, and they will inevitably create a great atmosphere.

“We need to make sure that we put in a full 80-minute performance to give our supporters a reason to show their voice. Harlequins are a well-drilled side, and we know it will be a difficult challenge this weekend, but one we look forward to.”

London Irish:
15 James Stokes, 14 Lucio Cinti, 13 Benhard van Rensburg, 12 Rory Jennings, 11 Michael Dykes, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 2 Agustin Creevy, 3 Oliver Hoskins, 4 Rob Simmons, 5 Adam Coleman, 6 Matt Rogerson (c), 7 Tom Pearson, 8 Chandler Cunningham-South.

Replacements:
16 Mike Willemse, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Henry Arundell.

Click here to buy tickets!

Content & Images from – London Irish Rugby


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Premiership

Baxter issues Moon injury update

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Exeter Chiefs

By Mark Stevens
26/1/23

Rob Baxter says he cannot give a timescale as to when prop Ben Moon will return to the Exeter Chiefs match-day squad.

The 33-year-old forward is currently Exeter’s longest-serving player, having made his debut in 2008 away to Sedgley Park, and is the last remaining member of their 2009-10 promotion squad.

The England international, however, has not featured for the Devon club since coming off the bench against Munster in last April’s Heineken Champions Cup clash at Sandy Park.

Asked by the media this week about Moon, the Chiefs’ Director of Rugby said: “I wouldn’t hold out hope that he’s going to be appearing soon. It’s been a challenge for Ben for a little period of time now, it’s not just been this season.

“He’s had periods in and out with it, it’s something that’s been affecting him for a little while and because of what it is we just have to be very careful with it.”

Moon has featured in all six of Exeter’s Premiership final appearances at Twickenham – and he also played in the 2020 European Champions Cup final win over Racing 92, and Exeter’s first major final when they beat Northampton Saints to win the 2014 LV Cup.

Moon won eight England caps in the 2018-19 season, but did not make the squad for that autumn’s World Cup in Japan.

“He’s still active around the club, he’s still here, he’s in training, he’s continuing very hard with his rehab and getting everything else he can right, but we’ve just got to be really careful around that neck.

“It’s probably one of those things where it’s getting to the stage where there’s not a lot more we can do. I can’t talk for Ben about his future, but you’re not going to see him in the immediate future on the pitch.”

Content & Images from – Exeter Chiefs Rugby


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Premiership

TEAM NEWS – Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby

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South African talisman Rob du Preez is set to make his 100th Sharks appearance whilst Alex Groves is in line for his Gallagher Premiership debut as Alex Sanderson names his side to face Bath Rugby at the AJ Bell Stadium tomorrow night. (Kick-off 7:45pm – Live on BT Sport) 

Sanderson makes seven changes to the Sale starting line-up as his squad returns to Gallagher Premiership action following defeat at the hands of Ulster in the Champions Cup. 

In the forwards, there is a complete change of the Sharks front-row as Simon McIntyre, Tommy Taylor and Nick Schonert all return to face Bath.  

Cobus Wiese links back up with Josh Beaumont in the second row following a one-match suspension for a dangerous tackle in the Sharks’ clash with Toulouse two weeks ago. 

Jono Ross captains the side in the absence of Ben Curry, whilst Sam Dugdale steps in to replace the flanker after his England call up to Steve Borthwick’s England squad. Jean-Luc du Preez retains the number 8 shirt with twin-brother Dan remaining on the side lines due to an ongoing hand injury. 

Gus Warr continues to provide a platform for success at scrum-half and links up with centurion Rob du Preez, who is named at fly-half. 

The ever-present Sam James retains the thirteen shirt with Ryan Mills picked at inside centre in the absence of Manu Tuilagi. The former Wasps centre is one of two changes in the Sharks’ back line. 

Sanderson’s second change in the backs comes in the form of Tom Roebuck, who replaces Arron Reed on the wing after an impressive cameo in the Champions Cup. Tom O’Flaherty is named on the other wing, with exciting academy graduate Joe Carpenter at full-back. 

On the bench, Ewan Ashman, Ross Harrison and Joe Jones are named as front-row replacements, with Alex Groves and Rouban Birch providing further cover for the forwards. Raffi Quirke, Luke James and Arron Reed cover the backs. 

Sale Sharks Starting XV: 

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Ryan Mills, 11. Tom O’Flaherty, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Simon McIntyre, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Josh Beaumont, 6. Jono Ross (c), 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Jean-Luc du Preez 

Replacements: 

16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Alex Groves, 20. Rouban Birch, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Luke James, 23. Arron Reed 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby


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