Thursday, January 12th, 2017
Bristol Rugby winger Tom Varndell has been named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for December.
Varndell was judged by a panel of experts as the man who made the biggest impact in the League last month and his role has been lauded by England Rugby World Cup winner Will Greenwood.
“The lad is flying again,” said Aviva ambassador Greenwood, “and his contribution to Jason Woodward’s try at Northampton Saints reinforces his outstanding skills from December.
“If Bristol are to escape then their master poacher needs to bag try after try – it looks like his nose for the try line is sniffing on full power.
“Tom is an absolutely lethal finisher. Control and awareness of his speed and power makes him so difficult to stop.”
ON FIRE: Tom Varndell scorches over for the opening try during Boxing Day's victory over Worcester Warriors (Photo: JMP UK).
Varndell has now scored 90 Premiership Rugby tries in his career, equal with record-holder Mark Cueto.
Varndell was involved in a three-way battle for this month’s title, eventually beating his team-mate Woodward and Wasps back-rower Thomas Young to the big prize.
Varndell was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in November – Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Mick Cleary (The Daily Telegraph), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), Jonny Fordham (The Sun), Jill Douglas (ITV Sport), Chris Jones (BBC 5 Live), David Rogers (Getty Images) and Ben Coles (Planet Rugby). The panel was chaired by Paul Morgan, Premiership Rugby's Communications Director. Varndell wins a trophy and a £250 donation to the charity of his choice.
Winners in the 2016-17 season
December – Tom Varndell (Bristol Rugby)
November – Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers)
October – Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
September – Jimmy Gopperth (Wasps)