Zach Mercer named Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month

©Gallagher Premiership

Zach Mercer has been awarded Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for April.

Mercer’s performances against Leicester Tigers and Wasps in the Premiership as well as the knockout games in Europe earned him acclaim from the judges and BT Sport pundit and Gallagher ambassador Ugo Monye.

Monye said: “Zach’s contributions have sparked Bath Rugby’s recent success, getting to a Challenge Cup semi-final and the impressive domestic run they have been on. To stand out in a team full of quality players is a tough feat but he’s been able to do that consistently. 

“His attacking game is extraordinary and the quality of his output is so consistent. He’s a great offloader, he’s dynamic through contact - he’s just class and he is playing some of the best rugby of his life.

“I think he’s been unlucky not to have achieved further international honours as he has been a star performer for years. He’s a very tricky opponent to play against and he’s been a joy to commentate on.

“He would have to come into the conversation for the Gallagher Premiership Rugby team of the season. We are fortunate that the quality of rugby we’ve seen makes those sorts of decisions so competitive, especially in the back-row. But with the quality of his performances, he has to be in the equation.

Although Covid-19 restrictions prevented a physical presentation of his award, Bath Rugby fan, club liaison and Gallagher development executive Chris Howard, said: “Without doubt, Zach Mercer has been playing some of his very best rugby of late. Standout performances have drawn post-match praise and Zach now adds a well-deserved Gallagher Player of the Month award to his recent accolades.

“Always a formidable force in defence, it is Zach’s powerful, mobile, attacking play that has particularly impressed with his strong ball carries and skilful footwork helping to create breaks as well as scoring a number of tries.

“And following confirmation that fans can be welcomed back inside Gallagher Premiership stadiums from as early as next week, we can’t wait to be back at The Rec come 12 June, as a local business alongside all the other fans, to show our support and celebrate spectators’ return.”

Mercer – as part of his prize for being named Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month – wins a shirt signed by the whole Bath Rugby squad and framed by Gallagher to gift to a charity of his choice, to help them raise funds.

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

He was involved in a three-way battle to win the award eventually beating February’s winner Marcus Smith and Leicester Tigers No 8, Jasper Wiese to the prize.

Winners in the 2020/21 season

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

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 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.