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Waldrom takes big prize

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Exeter Chiefs No 8 Thomas Waldrom has capped an incredible few weeks for him and his club, Exeter Chiefs, by being named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for November.

Waldrom was elevated back into the England squad and the Chiefs produced a perfect month with three victories in Aviva Premiership Rugby and two in the LV= Cup.

The Aviva Premiership Rugby victories included one at champions Northampton Saints and Waldrom’s performances have stood out according to former England player Austin Healey.

"Thomas has been playing with a giant smile on his face since arriving at Sandy Park," said BT analyst Healey.

"The freedom that Rob Baxter and his team have given their No 8 has enabled him to break free of the shackles and express himself. His carrying ability sees him top of the average metres per carry charts and try-scoring list."

Waldrom beat an impressive shortlist of Sale Sharks skipper Dan Braid and Bath Rugby centre Jonathan Joseph to the prize.

In the Aviva Premiership Player of the Month award, rugby fans also had their say on who deserves to win the coveted monthly 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 November.

Fans can get involved and vote for their Aviva Premiership Player of the Month for December by visiting www.aviva.co.uk/10thjudge from the noon on Monday 29 December. 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!

Healey added: "Thomas’ try-scoring ability is amazing for a forward mainly due to how well he reads the game and seizes his opportunities. He has been an integral part of the Chiefs’ success thus far this season and could be one of the key deciders in whether Exeter go all the way to Twickenham on 30 May for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final."

Alongside hundreds of fans Waldrom was voted for by a panel of media professionals – Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Mick Cleary (Daily Telegraph), Steve James (Sunday Telegraph), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), Jill Douglas (ITV Sport), Chris Jones (Radio 5 Live), David Rogers (Getty Images) and Ben Coles (Planet Rugby). The panel was chaired by Paul Morgan Premiership Rugby's Communications Director.

Waldrom wins a trophy and £250 which he is donating to the Rays of Sunshine 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)

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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