Northampton Saints flanker Courtney Lawes has been voted as December’s Gallagher Player of the Month, winning 47% of the vote in the public poll ahead of Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Finn Russell and Alfie Barbeary (both Bath Rugby).

Lawes, who retired from England duty after an impressive Rugby World Cup 2023, maintained his blistering form in club colours and was central to Saints’ unbeaten run in both the Gallagher Premiership and Investec Champions Cup during December.

The England centurion was the Gallagher Player of the Match as Saints overcame champions Saracens at the StoneX Stadium in Round 8 and the five-test British and Irish Lion showed his international pedigree in further wins over Harlequins and Gloucester Rugby.

Lawes becomes the third recipient of the Gallagher Player of the Month award for the 2023/24 season, with Bath Rugby captain Ben Spencer voted as October’s winner and Bath teammate Ollie Lawrence claiming November’s award.

Sam Armstrong, Business Development Executive at Gallagher’s Leicester Office, said: “It’s a pleasure to present the trophy to Courtney as he has been influential for Saints since his return from the Rugby World Cup.

“More recently during the Gallagher Premiership, Saints have shown great performance and drive, starting the New Year at the top of the table with 3 from 3! This year looks like an exciting one for us Saints fans!”

The shortlist was voted for by a panel of media professionals.

The judges for the 2023/24 Gallagher Premiership Rugby season are: Ali Eykyn (TNT Sports), Ugo Monye (BBC, TNT Sports), Jill Douglas (ITV, BBC), Ashleigh Wilmot (Eurosport, TNT Sports), Rugby Inside Line, Alex Lowe (The Times), Hugh Godwin (i), Nick Mullins (TNT Sports) and Chris Jones (BBC).