Gloucester Rugby's Ollie Thorley was today acclaimed as ‘a spectacular finisher’ after being named Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for November 2018.
The wing was in exceptional form in November, scoring a brace of unforgettable tries as his side established themselves in the Gallagher Premiership Rugby top four.
Thorley’s performances also drew praise from former Harlequins, England and Lions wing Ugo Monye, who has seen the Gloucester Rugby man close up in his role with BT Sport.
“I’m not stunned by the amount of tries he’s scored, we know he’s going to get opportunities in that Gloucester backline but it’s the types of tries he’s finishing that are spectacular,” said Monye.
“He’s obviously scored a bunch of tries, one of which was absolutely spectacular in his double against Leicester. His second one in that match will be a contender for try of the season!
“In the month of November when you have so many internationals away it gives opportunities to the other guys and he’s certainly been one that’s stood up - he’s taken every single opportunity.”
Monye was world-class out of the blocks himself but warns against judging Thorley as nothing more than a speed merchant.
Monye added: “He’s taken every single opportunity. It’s not just his speed, it’s the speed endurance too. His ability to continuously change gear and accelerate away from fast wingers has really stuck out for me.”
Thorley was presented with his award by Gallagher Community Hero, Ron Etheridge (above), who works in Gloucester Rugby’s Community Department.
Ron was one of 24 Community Heroes chosen by new title partner, Gallagher, at the start of the 2018-19 season. Each of the heroes were nominated by their respective Gallagher Premiership Rugby teams for demonstrating the core values of their rugby family.
Throughout the season Gallagher will continue to shine a light on its Community Heroes, whilst embarking on a series of CSR initiatives that form part of its ongoing commitment to champion the spirit of rugby, on and off the pitch. Alongside Premiership Rugby, Gallagher – a passionate community insurance broker with more than 50 retail branches around the UK - will continue to recognize and highlight the positive work that is being done around the game, both at scale and within the local communities.
As a demonstration of this commitment Gallagher will also donate 25 tickets to a local club, school or community group of Thorley’s choosing, forming part of his Player of the Month prize.
Ron Etheridge, Gallagher Community Hero for Gloucester Rugby said: “It was an absolute honour to present the Player of the Month award to Ollie Thorley, and I want to thank Gallagher for inviting me to be part of such a prestigious moment of the season such as this. It is great to see the new title-partner of Premiership Rugby genuinely committed to celebrating the broader rugby community as well as the players on the pitch.”
Thorley was judged by a panel of experts as the player who made the biggest impact in Gallagher Premiership Rugby over the month November.
He was involved in a very tight three-way battle to win the award eventually beating Bristol Rugby hooker Harry Thacker and Harlequins blindside Alex Dombrandt to the title.
Thorley was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in November, alongside a public poll which drew close to 3,000 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), 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.
Thorley wins a trophy and 25 tickets to a future Gloucester Rugby Gallagher Premiership Rugby match which he can donate to a local rugby club, school or community group.
Winners in the 2018-19 season
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)