NICK EVANS’ stunning start to the new season was recognised today when he was named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for October.
The former All Black helped his side into the Aviva Premiership Rugby top four with a series of controlled performances and 63 points in the month, more than any other player.
BT Sport analyst Austin Healey, the former England scrum-half believes that Evans – who converted 10 consecutive kicks in October – has benefitted from the late start to the season.
“What an amazing start to the season our Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month has had,” said Healey.
“The long off-season has obviously paid dividends for Nick Evans and the Harlequins team.
“Nick has always been central to everything good that comes out of the Twickenham Stoop. He has an all-round game which is the envy of many 10s. But after a long off-season his running, decision-making and the ability to break has been back to his best.
“In particular, his goalkicking has enabled Quins to build upon their attacking game. If he can stay fit and his partnership with Danny Care can flourish you could well expect to see Harlequins in the top four this season.”
Evans beat an impressive shortlist of Don Armand (Exeter Chiefs), and Nathan Hughes (Wasps) to win the first 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 October.
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 a sizeable fans’ vote, Evans 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.
Evans wins a trophy and £250 to donate to charity.
Winners in the 2015-16 season
October – Nick Evans (Harlequins)
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)