Theo McFarland wins Gallagher Player of the Month for September

Theo McFarland
©Gallagher Rugby

Theo McFarland was today acclaimed as a vital cog in Saracens 100% start to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby season as he was named Gallagher Player of the Month for September 2022.

The Saracens back-rower hit world-class form in September to take the prize, and his key role was identified by BT Sport pundit and Gallagher ambassador, Ugo Monye.

Monye said: "I think Theo McFarland has been superb and so have his team. Saracens started the season without dropping a single point in all their matches.

"Top of the league and they’re flying high, and he’s had a big part to play not just in their performances, their results, but also in terms of their style of play.”

“As a blindside flanker you have to be dominant on both sides of the ball and he is that.

"He’s incredibly athletic. It’s hard to put his qualities in order as to which is the most impressive.

"I think one of his standout features is his sheer handling and variety of handling. I’m not just talking about a simple catch pass, I’m talking about his one-handed lineout, which we saw against Leicester, and then the delivery of that.

"On restarts he’s incredible. His dexterity through contact and offloading ability. His handling has been a real feature, not just from what we’ve seen this season, but ever since he hit the Gallagher Premiership.”

Danielle Cunningham, Business Development Executive at Gallagher, who presented Theo with his award added: “It is fantastic to see Theo win Player of the Month in just his second Gallagher Premiership Rugby season. Drawing on his international experience he has made a real difference to the Saracens performance and has plenty more to offer as he unlocks his full potential.

“Watching Theo it’s hard to imagine that rugby wasn’t his first sporting love, following his successful years in basketball, He has enormous talent and it’s fantastic to see him making a name for himself in Gallagher Premiership Rugby which deserves its reputation as the best, most competitive rugby league in the world.”

Worcester Warriors’ back-rower Joe Batley was the runner-up this month with Elliot Daly third, and Monye believes a new playing style is emerging at Saracens

Monye added: "Theo’s getting more opportunities to display his talent with their new approach.

"He’s a wonderful attacking player, especially in those wider channels.

"His offloading abilities, his dynamic ball carrying, and for any attacking player being in a team that has a more attacking mindset is certainly only going to bring out the best in them and Saracens.

"Anyone watching the Gallagher Premiership is certainly getting full value for that.”

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

McFarland was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in September 2022, alongside a public poll on the Premiership Rugby app, which drew more than 1,200 votes.

The judges were: Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Alex Lowe (The Times) Hugh Godwin (I), Andrew Baldock (Press Association), Bobby Bridge (Coventry Telegraph), John Everly (Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle) Jill Douglas (Broadcaster), Craig Swayne (The Good, The Bad and The Rugby), 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 2022-23 season

September – Theo McFarland (Saracens)

Winners in the 2021-22 season

March - George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons)
February – Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers)
January - André Esterhuizen (Harlequins)
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)