Leicester Tigers’ outside-half Freddie Burns has “got his strut back” and this has led to him being named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for November.
That’s according to England Rugby World Cup winner Will Greenwood, who saw Burns make a big impact as Tigers cemented their place in the top four of Aviva Premiership Rugby.
“The strut is back,” said Aviva ambassador Greenwood. “He has shown a wonderful kicking game and is playing right on the gain line, fizzing passes.”
But it is Burns’ defensive work that has impressed Greenwood the most as he added: “His starting position was questioned earlier in the season and he has responded, bossing proceedings.
“Perhaps the real giveaway to him winning this award is his form in defence. One cover tackle away at Bristol Rugby in his bottom right hand corner tells you he is watching, locked and loaded for action on both sides of the ball, attack and defence.”
Burns was involved in a four-way battle for this month’s title, eventually beating Bath Rugby flyer Semesa Rokoduguni, Exeter Chiefs’ No. 8 Thomas Waldrom and Gloucester Rugby hooker Richard Hibbard to the title.
Burns was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in November – Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Mick Cleary (The Daily Telegraph), Steve James (The Sunday Telegraph), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), Jonny Fordham (The Sun), Jill Douglas (ITV Sport), Chris Jones (BBC 5 Live), David Rogers (Getty Images) and Ben Coles (Planet Rugby). The panel was chaired by Paul Morgan, Premiership Rugby’s Communications Director.
Burns wins a trophy and a £250 donation to the charity of his choice.
Winners in the 2016-17 season
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)