George Ford named Gallagher Premiership rugby player of the month for December

Leicester Tiger's George Ford
Leicester Tiger's George Ford
©Pinnacle Photo Agency for Gallagher

George Ford's control and composure in high-pressure moments has led to the Leicester Tigers’ fly-half being named Gallagher Player of the Month for December, according to Ugo Monye.

The BT Sport pundit and Gallagher ambassador, Monye, was full of praise for Ford, who has helped steer the Tigers to an impressive eight-point lead at the top of Gallagher Premiership Rugby.

Monye said: “When you look at Leicester's season, particularly the month of December, the results and the fixtures they've had, he's been such a significant feature.

“His control, his composure in those high-pressure moments in Europe, as well as in Gallagher Premiership Rugby, show he's enjoying some of the best form that I've seen for a long time.

“George is obsessed with bettering himself and perfecting his craft. He leads by example, and he's in a position where you need to show natural leadership in any case.”

Alex Dombrandt was second in this month’s poll with his Harlequins team-mate Andre Esterhuizen third.

Monye believes we are in the middle of an unforgettable season adding: “It's been an outstanding period of domestic rugby.

“What you've already seen in Gallagher Premiership Rugby this season is probably the most competitive season we've ever had.

“Last weekend we saw streaks come to an end – Bath Rugby's losing streak and Leicester's winning one.”

Reflecting on how 2021 ended on a high, for the whole rugby community as well as Ford with his performances, Monye added: “When you look at 2021, we started it with no fans, and we ended it with a Gallagher Premiership Rugby match bolstered by a crowd of more than 70,000.

“It was great, and I think anyone there or watching it from home would have been treated to an unbelievable game of rugby.”

Big Tigers fan, club liaison and MD of Gallagher’s Leicester branch Chris Noah, said: “As Gallagher Premiership Rugby played out its final games of 2021, George Ford’s outstanding form, cool head and calm authority continued. In two tightly fought clashes to close out the year, we first saw him kick Tigers to victory over Quins, before bringing his side back into contention several times to ultimately help them seal a last-minute win over Bristol Bears.

“Both performances came after news broke of George’s move to Sale at the end of the season, and both demonstrated to all of us fans here in the local rugby community that he will play out his time at Welford Road with all the passion, commitment and focus we’ve come to expect from him since his time as a young Tigers academy graduate. Well done George – a worthy winner of Gallagher Player of the Month for the second time in three months!”

As part of his prize for being named Gallagher Player of the Month, Ford wins a shirt signed by the whole Leicester Tigers squad and framed by Gallagher to gift to a charity of his choice, to help them raise funds for their chosen cause.

Ford was judged by a panel of experts as the player who made the biggest impact in Gallagher Premiership Rugby in December 2021.

Ford was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in November 2021, alongside a public poll on the Premiership Rugby app, which drew more than 1,000 votes. The judges were: Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Gavin Mairs (The Daily Telegraph), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), Hugh Godwin (I), Andrew Baldock (Press Association), Bobby Bridge (Coventry Telegraph), John Everly (Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle) Jill Douglas (Broadcaster), Craig Swayne (@BallcarrierRugby), 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 2021-22 season

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)

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

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.