Meehan and Cipriani win monthly awards

Bath Rugby’s Head Coach Steve Meehan has been named Guinness Premiership Coach of the Month for April and London Wasps’ Danny Cipriani has won the Guinness Premiership Player of the Month award.

As part of their awards they will each be given the opportunity to select a school in their local area to receive free kit from Gilbert Rugby. For every award this season the winner in each category has been given the opportunity to nominate a school to receive a full set of rugby kit from Official Ball Supplier to the Guinness Premiership, Gilbert Rugby.

Bath won both their matches in April, a re-scheduled round 19 match against Leicester Tigers and a thrilling 20-23 win over an improving Worcester Warriors side at Sixways in round 20.

They sit in second place in the Guinness Premiership table with two matches to go. The first is a live Sky match this Saturday evening against Heineken Cup semi-finalists, Saracens, followed by a massive clash against their local rivals Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm in the final round of matches.

The battle at the top of the Premiership is one of the tightest ever, meaning only two wins at this stage would guarantee them a home semi-final and a chance to reach their first Premiership Final since 2004.

April’s award is Meehan’s second of the season; he was previously named Coach of the Month back in October.

Four other clubs won all their Guinness Premiership matches in April, including the sixth, seventh and eighth consecutive league wins for Ian McGeechan’s London Wasps.

That good form was recognised as their 20 year-old England fly-half Danny Cipriani was named Guinness Premiership Player of the Month for April.

Cipriani played in all Wasps’ three matches in April, scoring 48 points in total, all bar five coming from what has become an unerring boot.

As a team, London Wasps have scored 118 points in those three matches, including 29 points at Adams Park in what may yet prove a crucial win against a committed and physical Sale Sharks team on the evening of Tuesday 15th April.

Those wins leave London Wasps in third place, with matches against Gloucester Rugby, Newcastle Falcons and Leeds Carnegie still to play. A home semi-final could yet be within their grasp, a fantastic achievement given their league placing of eighth at the turn of the year.

Cipriani’s award means England’s potential half-back pairing in New Zealand have scooped the last two player of the month awards, with Harlequins’ Danny Care having won the award in March.

Special mention was also given to Bath Rugby’s England prop, Matt Stevens. Stevens has been truly on-song in April, providing both the power and deft touches that Bath’s high tempo style demands and leading one panellist to describe him as ‘currently the best prop forward in Europe’.

Previous monthly award winners:

September
Richard Cockerill and Ryan Lamb

October
Steve Meehan and Shaun Berne

December
Philippe Saint-Andre and Alasdair Strokosch

February
Brian Smith and Olly Barkley

March
Ian McGeechan and Danny Care

 

Rugbyweek.com

 

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