Newcastle Falcons wing Vereniki Goneva has been named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for April.
Goneva has been in stellar form for the Falcons as they claimed their first Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final place in their history and he climbed to the top of the league’s scoring charts alongside Josh Adams.
And Rugby World Cup winner Will Greenwood said: “What an extraordinary player he is. Goneva is built like a man mountain and yet with nimble feet and soft hands.
“Everyone knows about him in the wide channels; a genuine flyer to add to his frame and awesome finisher given half a yard. But there are times when I see him like a back row forward in and around the fringes, and lethal from five yards out when it is supposed to be forwards territory.”
Goneva was judged by a panel of experts as the player who made the biggest impact in the League over the month April. He was involved in a three-way battle for the latest title, eventually beating Wasps’ full-back Willie le Roux and Gloucester Rugby full-back Jason Woodward to the title.
And Greenwood added: “It’s clear he offers the Falcons a bit of everything. He’s lethal in attack but is also a brilliant defender, drifting or blitzing – he reads situations so well, and always wins the contact. He is also getting better – he has removed the looseness of his play, and it is pretty clear any team with Goneva in would finish top six.”
Goneva was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in April – Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Mick Cleary (The Daily Telegraph), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), Jonny Fordham (The Sun), Jill Douglas (ITV Sport), 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. Goneva wins a trophy and a £250 donation to the charity of his choice.
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)