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Another South African flyhalf bags Premiership award

SPOTLIGHT: Regarded as one of the “pillars” of the London Irish team, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, has been named Player of the Month for January 2023.

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Irish surged into seventh place in the Premiership Rugby table in January, just two points behind a semi-final spot.

Van Rensburg was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in January 2023, alongside a public poll.

“London Irish always play a brilliant brand of rugby and I think whilst they’ve got some electric players in Ollie Hassell-Collins, Ben Loader and Ben White, one of the pillars of their game is dependent on Van Rensburg,” former England international Ugo Monye said.

“He’s such a focal point in attack, incredibly strong in defence and just a consistently brilliant player for Irish – it’s helped them hugely this month and hence why he’s won this award.”

In January, wins over Harlequins and Bristol Bears have made Irish genuine title contenders and Monye added: “London Irish have been on the end of some devastatingly close losses and some of those were self-inflicted but a lot of it was just bad luck.

“With Van Rensburg’s consistency and experience, they’ve turned a corner. We felt they might have when they beat Saracens in December and they’ve blown Harlequins and Bristol away this month which were two key battles.

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“At this stage of the season, with the league being so congested and so tight, being able to back up results is going to be pivotal to how the league finalises itself in a few months’ time.

“They’ve got a home Premiership Rugby Cup semi-final to look forward to at the Gtech Community Stadium which is a great place to watch rugby.”

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

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

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Sales Sharks flyhalf Robert Du Preez walked away with the accolade last month.

Winners in the 2022-23 seasonJanuary – 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)

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