JIMMY GOPPERTH today capped a stellar start to the new season by being named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for September.
The Wasps’ fly-half / inside centre this season, who yesterday signed a new contract with the club, has been in scintillating form this season as Wasps finished the first six rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby in second place, losing just once to defending champions Saracens.
Gopperth is Aviva Premiership Rugby’s leading points scorer with an impressive 90 from those six games – including three tries – and lies second in the race for the Gilbert Golden Boot behind Bath Rugby’s George Ford.
The 33 year-old, who won back-to-back Gilbert Golden Boot awards with Newcastle Falcons in 2010 and 2011, has notched up 33 appearances and 343 points in black and gold since joining from Leinster last season.
Gopperth was involved in a four-way battle for this month’s title, eventually beating team mates Guy Thompson and Sam Jones and Bath Rugby scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i to the crown.
On receiving the award, Gopperth said: “It’s been a pretty exciting week – firstly to do the contract and then to pick up an award like this. When you see the quality of players nominated on the list, who have been playing brilliantly, it’s pretty satisfying but to be honest I think I’m getting this award on behalf of most of our team.
“The way the squad has played over the last five or six weeks has made my job a lot easier and it’s been really fun to be a part of. We’ve had some standout individuals which you can see from Sam [Jones] and Guy [Thompson] also being recognised for Wasps, alongside Kahn at Bath. There have been so many players going well in the Aviva Premiership, which is what makes it so competitive every week. As I say, the way the group here at Wasps has been playing, it’s been really exciting to be part of.”
Gopperth 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.
Gopperth wins a trophy and a £250 donation to the charity of his choice.
Winners in the 2016-17 season
September – Jimmy Gopperth (Wasps)
Winners in the 2015-16 season
October – Nick Evans (Harlequins)
November – Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
December – Maro Itoje (Saracens)
January – Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs)
February – George Smith (Wasps)
March – Francois Hougaard (Worcester Warriors)
April – Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints)
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)