Bath Rugby’s Jonathan Joseph has capped an incredible few weeks by today being named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for January.
Joseph starred in both of England’s opening RBS 6 Nations wins over Wales and Italy following a stunning month of action for his club that has earned him the accolade. The award is based on performances in all competitions with Aviva Premiership Rugby matches prioritised.
"I told you so is a phrase often used by know it alls like me, but for as long as I can remember most people have said let’s see JJ in an England shirt. Now we have he's the nation’s sweetheart and even the England coaches are saying they were right to pick him!" said BT Sport analyst Austin Healey.
"His selection all stems from his fantastic form for Bath, playing with fast feet and a smile on his face has made him the standout player for January.
Joseph now heads to the Aviva Stadium this weekend, a ground he will revisit with his Bath Rugby side in April for the quarter finals of the European Rugby Champions Cup.
"What people also need to understand is he is incredibly strong with a great low centre of gravity, this enables him to break out of arm tackles whilst retaining speed and momentum," Healey added.
"Defensively he is very good, he reads the game well, he has it all. All he needs to do now is keep his feet on the ground and running(!), and hopefully he could be the England 13 or even wing, for a long time to come."
Joseph – who made the last four for the second month running – beat an impressive shortlist of James Haskell, Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes.
Rugby fans also had their say on who deserves 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 January.
Fans can get involved and vote for their Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for February by visiting www.aviva.co.uk/10thjudge from noon on Monday 2 March. Each month, one lucky fan who votes will be selected at random and win four tickets to an Aviva Premiership Rugby game of their choice!
As well as securing the votes of hundreds of fans, Joseph 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.
Joseph wins a trophy and £250 to donate to a charity of his choice.
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)
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)