Northampton Saints’ Lewis Ludlam was today named Gallagher Player of the Month for April 2022 and acclaimed as one of the key reasons for his side’s recent surge into the top four.
The Saints back-rower, who was presented with his trophy by Gallagher’s Anthony Rostance (pictured, right) was at the fore as his side leapt into the semi-finals spots to help him take the prize, according to BT Sport pundit and Gallagher ambassador, Ugo Monye.
Monye said: "In the last six weeks, Lewis Ludlam and Northampton Saints have found the ability to resuscitate their ambitions for the top four on a couple of occasions. In Round 23 against Bath, that sense of direction he gave them in the last 15 or 20 minutes when they were nearly 20 points down was crucial in helping them come back and score four tries to keep the top four alive.
“It says a huge amount for his level of performance but not just that, it’s also his level of leadership as well. To be successful in Gallagher Premiership Rugby you need players that are consistently on top of their game and available and that’s something he always is. Every time he leaves the pitch he looks like a man that has given everything.
“The win against Quins and to get five points was massive with Exeter Chiefs on a bye week, it was pivotal to their quest for the semi-final with two rounds to go and they will be looking to keep that momentum going.”
Club liaison for Northampton Saints and MD of Gallagher’s Leicester branch Chris Noah said: “Having skippered his side to five successive wins and taken Saints firmly into semi-final territory, Lewis has earned his Gallagher Player of the Month award for April. Always impressive in his leadership, physicality and dogged resourcefulness, Lewis is captaining a side producing some brilliant end-to-end contests with confidence and self-belief.
“In April alone that resulted in a nine-try thriller against Bristol, an astonishing come-from-behind win against Bath and a late penalty nail-biter to deny Quins – fantastic entertainment for local fans and helping ensure the Gallagher Premiership remains the best, most competitive elite rugby league in the world.”
Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Chris Boyd added: “Lewis has made a massive contribution, both on and off the field, over the last few weeks since he returned from the injury he sustained with England during the Six Nations.
“He’s been great as a leader; he is very much a leader of hearts for our team, and his performances on the field have matched his responsibility as club captain. We came through a couple of very tight matches against Bath and Harlequins in April, and Lewis stood up in those games.
“He’s got some good lieutenants around him – more experienced players who often say the right things at the right time to support him – but at the end of the day, Lewis is becoming our premier leader and he’s the key cog in tying everything together on the field.
“He delegates very well, speaks very well, and understands what it means to be the captain of this Club. But the biggest gift he gives us is his commitment and level of performance on the pitch. We’ve had a few injuries in the loose forwards over the last few weeks, so keeping Lewis fit, healthy and on the field will be very important for us over the final rounds of the season.”
Saracens outside-half Owen Farrell was the runner-up this month with his team-mate Ben Earl tying for third with Saints scrum-half Alex Mitchell.
As part of his prize for being named Gallagher Player of the Month, Ludlam wins a shirt signed by the whole Northampton Saints squad and framed by Gallagher to gift to a charity of his choice, which is Key for Life. The charity aims to reduce youth re-offending through delivering an innovative rehabilitation programme to those in prison and those at risk of going to prison. They also work with under-18s tackling anti-social behaviour and knife crime.
Ludlam was judged by a panel of experts as the player who made the biggest impact in Gallagher Premiership Rugby in April 2022. He was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in April 2022, alongside a public poll on the Premiership Rugby app, which drew more than 1,400 votes.
The judges were: Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Gavin Mairs (The Daily Telegraph), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), Hugh Godwin (I), Andrew Baldock (Press Association), Bobby Bridge (Coventry Telegraph), John Everly (Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle) Jill Douglas (Broadcaster), Craig Swayne (@BallcarrierRugby), Chris Jones (BBC 5 Live), David Rogers (Getty Images) and Tom Hamilton (ESPN). The panel was chaired by Paul Morgan, Premiership Rugby's Communications Director.