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Goneva Named English Clubs’ Top Player of the Month for April

Goneva Named English Clubs’ Top Player of the Month for April
Newcastle Flacons and Air Pacific Flying Fijians winger Vereniki Goneva with the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player Award. Photos: FRU Media
May 11
12:21 2018

Newcastle Falcons and Fiji Airways Flying Fijian wing, Vereniki Goneva was last week named the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for April 2018.

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.

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 of April. He was involved in a three-way battle for the latest title, eventually beating Wasps’ full-back Willie Le Roux and Gloucester Rugby’s 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 performancesl – 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.

This is the second time that he has won this award, the first being in February of the 2013-2014 season.

Goneva won a trophy and a $705 (£250) donation to the charity of his choice.

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