GLOUCESTER RUGBY wing Louis Rees-Zammit crowned an “unbelievable month” today by being named Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for December 2019.
The flying teenager made a major breakthrough in the month of December, scoring five tries, which included a new record when he became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in a Premiership Rugby match.
Rees-Zammit’s performances in December were praised by Ugo Monye, the former England and Lions wing who is now a BT Sport pundit, covering Gallagher Premiership Rugby, and Gallagher brand ambassador.
Monye said: “It’s been an unbelievable month for Louis. Normally the competition is pretty tight when it comes to Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month but he was head and shoulders above any other player in December.
Our front page story on how England's most senior personnel are trying to tempt wing sensation Louis Rees-Zammit away from Waleshttps://t.co/QvQuyPUfsH— The Rugby Paper (@TheRugbyPaper) January 8, 2020
“The month we’ve had in terms of rugby and the competition has been exhilarating but his performances have just been incredible especially considering this is his first year in the Premiership.
“In a league which is so tight, and where defences are often on top, you’re looking for a spark and he has been that. He’s turning the momentum in matches with his try-scoring ability, his searing pace is something that stands out, but he’s got really nice deft touches as well.”
Rees-Zammit was presented with his award by Antony Carlile, account director for Gallagher in Gloucester, where the local insurance broker has a 40-strong team as part of a UK-wide network of more than 70 branches.
Monye added: “You often look to your senior players for those contributions to change momentum but Louis is doing it at 18. It’s a winger’s job to score tries and he’s clearly doing that but to change the course of a match, that takes something really special, and he’s quite clearly got a very special talent.
“You see a lot of quick wingers that score tries, but you wonder if they’ve got an all-round game and an understanding of the game, but that’s something that he’s grasped in a very short period of time.
“For every supporter, not just Gloucester Rugby supporters, they get excited about watching him play, he’s an absolute pleasure and joy to watch.
“If he has the hunger to learn, and speaking to Gloucester Rugby players he’s a very coachable player, there’s no reason as to why his development won’t continue in a similar trajectory to what it is currently.
“He already looks ready-made at the age of 18 and I think he is showing all the hallmarks of what could be a promising career, not just at Gallagher Premiership Rugby level but potentially at international as well.”
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Gallagher’s Antony Carlile said: “With a lifelong involvement in the game and as a Gloucester Rugby supporter, it’s an absolute pleasure to present the Player of the Month award to the record-setting Louis Rees-Zammit. To be making such a huge impact in his first year in the competition is incredible and his stunning hat-trick in December was something to behold.
“As a locally based business, we’re really enjoying seeing Gloucester Rugby sit so high in the table and Louis’ fantastic pace and try-scoring hunger is already proving a major contributor to the team’s success.”
Rees-Zammit – as part of his prize for being named Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month – wins a Gloucester Rugby shirt signed by the whole squad and framed by Gallagher which he has donated to the Velindre Cancer Centre.
Since it became the proud title partner of Premiership Rugby in 2018, local insurance broker Gallagher has embarked on a series of community initiatives that champion the positive contribution of grassroots rugby — the lifeblood of the professional and elite game — as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting the wider rugby community and its values.
Rees-Zammit was judged by a panel of experts as the player who made the biggest impact in Gallagher Premiership Rugby over the month of December 2019.
He was involved in a three-way battle to win the award eventually beating brothers Joe and Sam Simmonds who’d enjoyed stunning months for the Exeter Chiefs.
Rees-Zammit was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in December, alongside a public poll which drew more than 4,000 votes on the Premiership Rugby app. The judges were: Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Mick Cleary (The Daily Telegraph), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), Jonny Fordham (The Sun), Jill Douglas (Broadcaster) Robert Kitson (The Guardian), 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 2019-20 season
December – Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby)
November – Tom O’Flaherty (Exeter Chiefs)
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
October – Nick Evans (Harlequins)
November – Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
December – Maro Itoje (Saracens)
January – Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs)
February – George Smith (Wasps)
March – Francois Hougaard (Worcester Warriors)
April – Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints)
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)
February – Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
March – Elliot Daly (Wasps)
April – Joe Simpson (Wasps)
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)