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Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for April

Joe Simpson’s incredible run of form at Wasps has been recognised today when he was named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for April.

Following his team-mate Elliot Daly to the accolade Simpson has been central in Wasps climb up the Aviva Premiership Rugby league table, putting them in contention for a spot in this season’s semi-finals.

This Saturday Simpson will be in a Wasps side to take on Leicester Tigers as the Ricoh Arena achieves its first sell-out for a rugby game and will break its own record for the highest attendance at a Premiership Rugby match outside of Twickenham and Wembley.

BT Sport analyst Austin Healey, the former England scrum-half believes that Simpson is in the form of his life

"Joe is THE best scrum-half in Aviva Premiership Rugby in terms of stats. Most metres, breaks, try assists, tackles, tries," said Healey, "and added to that he has just scored one of if not the best try ever seen in the Premiership.

"At some point in almost every player’s career the saying "what more can I do?" is said. That could not be more apt for this month’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month.

"So why isn’t he the England 9? Often when you are seen as a running/pacey nine people don't analyse your other skills or indeed pigeon hole you. His kicking game is second only to Richard Wigglesworth, his pass second only to Lee Dickson and no one touches his pace or eye for the score.

"Joe is a worthy winner and constantly improving playing behind an ever improving Wasps pack. Surely a RWC squad place beckons… if Stuart Lancaster sees his stats and it will be hard for him not to pick him."

Simpson, 26, beat an impressive shortlist of Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby) and Billy Vunipola (Saracens) to win the final monthly award of the season.

Rugby fans also had their say on who deserved to win the coveted Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month Award, as they became the 10th Judge. Joining the panel of nine judges, fans voted for the player that had impressed them the most during the month of April. The most votes in this poll also went to Simpson.

Each month, one lucky fan who votes as a 10th Judge will be selected at random to win four tickets to an Aviva Premiership Rugby game of their choice!

As well as securing the votes of hundreds of fans, Simpson was voted for by a panel of media professionals – Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Mick Cleary (The Daily Telegraph), Steve James (The Sunday Telegraph), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), 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.

Simpson wins a trophy and £250, which he has decided to donate to Carers UK.
 
Winners in the 2014-15 season

September – Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)
October – Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby)
November – Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs)
December – Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints)
January – Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
February – Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
March – Elliot Daly (Wasps)
April – Joe Simpson (Wasps)

Winners in the 2013-14 season

September – Jacques Burger (Saracens)
October – Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints)
November – George Ford (Bath Rugby)
December – Nick Easter (Harlequins)
January – Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
February – Vereniki Goneva (Leicester Tigers)
March – Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks)
April – Chris Ashton (Saracens)

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