ONE OF the “pillars” of the London Irish team, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, has been named Gallagher Player of the Month for January 2023.

Irish surged into seventh place in the Gallagher Premiership Rugby table in January, just two points behind a semi-final spot, and Monye believes the sky’s the limit for the men in green. Monye said: “London Irish always play a brilliant brand of rugby and I think whilst they’ve got some electric players in Ollie Hassell-Collins, Ben Loader and Ben White, one of the pillars of their game is dependent on Van Rensburg.

“He’s such a focal point in attack, incredibly strong in defence and just a consistently brilliant player for Irish - it’s helped them hugely this month and hence why he’s won this award.”

In January, wins over Harlequins and Bristol Bears have made Irish genuine title contenders and Monye added: “London Irish have been on the end of some devastatingly close losses and some of those were self-inflicted but a lot of it was just bad luck.

“With Van Rensburg’s consistency and experience, they’ve turned a corner. We felt they might have when they beat Saracens in December and they’ve blown Harlequins and Bristol away this month which were two key battles.

Benhard Janse van Rensburg

“At this stage of the season, with the league being so congested and so tight, being able to back up results is going to be pivotal to how the league finalises itself in a few months’ time.

“They’ve got a home Premiership Rugby Cup semi-final to look forward to at the Gtech Community Stadium which is a great place to watch rugby.”

Jacob Fordham, Business Development Executive at Gallagher, who presented the award said: "Van Rensburg is a highly worthy winner of this month’s Gallagher Player of the Month for his performance in January. He has proven himself to be a highly capable attacking and defensive player at the heart of the team and is a bright light in the premiership.”

Northampton Saints wing James Ramm and London Irish scrum-half Ben White tied for the runners-up spot with Nick David of Harlequins fourth.

gallagher rugby Benhard Janse van Rensburg

As part of his prize for being named Gallagher Player of the Month, van Rensburg wins a shirt signed by the whole London Irish squad and framed by Gallagher to gift to a charity of his choice, to help raise funds for its chosen cause.

Van Rensburg was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in January 2023, alongside a public poll on the Premiership Rugby app. The judges were: Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Alex Lowe (The Times) Hugh Godwin (I), Andrew Baldock (Press Association), John Everly (Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle) Jill Douglas (Broadcaster), Craig Swayne (The Good, The Bad and The Rugby), 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.

Winners in the 2022-23 season

January - Benhard Janse van Rensburg (London Irish)
December - Rob du Preez (Sale Sharks)
November – Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby)
October – Alex Goode (Saracens)
September – Theo McFarland (Saracens)

Winners in the 2021-22 season

March - George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons)
February – Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers) January - André Esterhuizen (Harlequins)
December – George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
November – Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints)
October – George Ford (Leicester Tigers) September – Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons)

Winners in the 2020-21 season

May – Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
April – Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby)
March - Danny Care (Harlequins)
February – Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
January – Piers O’Conor (Bristol Bears)
December – Alfie Barbeary (Wasps)
November – Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)

Winners in the 2019-20 season

August – Jack Willis (Wasps)
May – Paul Hill and Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints)*
April - Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)
March – Jamal Ford-Robinson (Gloucester Rugby)
February – Charles Piutau (Bristol Bears)
January – Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)
December - Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby)
November – Tom O’Flaherty (Exeter Chiefs)

* Gallagher ran public polls while play was suspended to nominate a ‘Community Player of the Month’ in recognition of inspiring off-pitch performances made by players during lockdown to support their local communities and boost the morale of the wider rugby community.

Winners in the 2018-19 season

April – Francois Hougaard (Worcester Warriors)
March – Santiago Cordero (Exeter Chiefs)
February – Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)
December – Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints)
November – Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby)
October – Alex Goode (Saracens)
September – Danny Cipriani (Gloucester Rugby)

Winners in the 2017-18 season

April – Vereniki Goneva (Newcastle Falcons)
March – Joe Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
February – Jack Willis (Wasps)
December – Josh Adams (Worcester Warriors)
November – Ruan Ackermann (Gloucester Rugby)
October – Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
September – Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)

Winners in the 2016-17 season

April – Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby)
March – Christian Wade (Wasps)
February – James Short (Exeter Chiefs)
December – Tom Varndell (Bristol Rugby)
November – Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers)
October – Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
September – Jimmy Gopperth (Wasps)

Winners in the 2015-16 season

April – Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints)
March – Francois Hougaard (Worcester Warriors)
February – George Smith (Wasps)
January – Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs)
December – Maro Itoje (Saracens)
November – Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
October – Nick Evans (Harlequins)

Winners in the 2014-15 season

April – Joe Simpson (Wasps)
March – Elliot Daly (Wasps)
February – Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
January – Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
December – Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints)
November – Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs)
October – Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby)
September – Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)

Winners in the 2013-14 season

April – Chris Ashton (Saracens)
March – Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks)
February – Vereniki Goneva (Leicester Tigers)
January – Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
December – Nick Easter (Harlequins)
November - George Ford (Bath Rugby)
October – Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints)
September – Jacques Burger (Saracens) )