Harlequins No 8 Alex Dombrandt was today acclaimed as one of the rising stars of the English game while being named Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for January 2020.
The barnstorming back-rower continued his impressive form in January as Harlequins ended the month with a decisive win over Saracens putting them in Gallagher Premiership Rugby’s top six.
Dombrandt’s performances in January 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.
“Alex has been simply outstanding,” said Monye. “There was always the potential of second season syndrome but that certainly hasn’t affected him.
“He is such a threat with ball in hand, so physical and direct but he’s coupled that with a real intellect.
“The lad has gone from playing university rugby just over a year ago to now having the English media calling for him to be in the Six Nations squad. That’s the rise that he has made and that should be an inspiration to everyone else playing lower league rugby.
“He has really paved the way and shown that with really good coaching, loads of hard work and opportunities, you can achieve the heights that he is currently setting.”
Dombrandt was presented with his award by Toby Edwards, Head of Commercial for Gallagher in Guildford, where the insurance broker has a 100-strong team as part of its UK-wide network of more than 70 branches.
The calls for Dombrandt to be elevated to the England squad have grown louder in recent weeks and Monye believes it is only a matter of time before he wears the red rose.
Monye added: “For Alex, his focus has just got to be on continuing to put out the performances which he is doing.
“He will have plenty of opportunities. As he is such a young man he can’t get frustrated or side-tracked, he has got to keep focused on the task at hand.
“Without a shadow of a doubt (he can have an impact in the England team).
“It’s important to be given an opportunity.
“If he doesn’t get a shot in this Six Nations you’d hope that he would be given an opportunity in the tour of Japan this summer.”
Gallagher’s Toby Edwards, who caught up with Dombrandt at Harlequins’ training ground in Guildford to present him with his award, said:
“As a massive rugby fan, supporter of Wales on the international stage and former fellow No.8 it’s a total privilege and pleasure to present January’s Player of the Month award to local Surrey lad Alex who has also run out for Wales Under-20s. The speed at which he has settled into top-flight rugby in the Gallagher Premiership is matched only by his strength, skill and dominance on the pitch for Harlequins — much to the delight of all us that are local fans.”
Dombrandt – as part of his prize for being named Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month – wins a shirt signed by the whole Harlequins squad and framed by Gallagher to be gifted to a local club, school, community group or charity of his choice.
Dombrandt was judged by a panel of experts as the player who made the biggest impact in Gallagher Premiership Rugby over the month of January 2020.
He was involved in a three-way battle to win the award eventually beating Sale Sharks pair Will Cliff and Rohan Janse Van Rensburg.
Dombrandt was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in January, alongside a public poll which drew more than 3,500 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
January – Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)
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)
Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the world...it can only be the Gallagher Premiership.
12 teams compete in the league over a season, playing every team both home and away, before four move into the playoffs and one is relegated.
The division is becoming more and more exciting as each year passes by so who will be lifting silverware at Twickenham in May?
At Talking Rugby Union, we aim to provide match reports and news together with our specially commissioned features and interviews.