As the climax of the Greene King IPA Championship season approaches, the penultimate Player of the Month nominees have been unveiled - and Jersey RFC are represented!
Nominees for the March award, which includes three rounds of the Championship action, come from Jersey, Rotherham Titans, Doncaster Knights and Yorkshire Carnegie.
Our very own James Freeman wins his first nomination, after impressing in the club's most recent game with Rotherham Titans two weeks ago. The flanker scored two tries at St Peters during the home side’s 44-27 victory, one after running onto a high kick and charging home from 30 metres; the other from an impressive maul.
Freeman, 25, (pictured above) was also a leading player among the powerful Reds' pack whose late penalty tries helped narrowly overcome Nottingham at the start of March and London Scottish on Good Friday. The former Loughborough Students back row man, approaching the end of his first season with Jersey, played all 240 minutes of the three league wins, and impressed with his teak-tough defence and skillful breakdown work.
"James deserves this recognition and has made an outstanding contribution in recent weeks," said Head Coach Harvey Biljon. "I'm also pleased for the whole squad, as their effort in winning our last three league games, while also playing knock-out rugby in the B&I Cup, have helped get one of their team-mates into contention for this award. I hope supporters will now take the time to vote for him!"
Other nominees for the March award, which includes the last three rounds of Championship action, come from the same county: Rotherham, Doncaster Knights and Yorkshire Carnegie.
After a challenging season, which will see Rotherham Titans finish in the bottom half of the table for the first time since 2012/13, lock Barney Maddison has impressed thanks to his leadership and determination.
Despite suffering a string of injuries two seasons ago, the 27-year-old has become a dominant force for the Titans. He has been inspirational in helping the Titans pull clear of the wrong end of the table, while his commitment and desire, combined with his set piece work and ball-carrying, made him a standout player in recent weeks.
Yorkshire Carnegie’s Andy Saull has demonstrated his experience and skill in helping to secure the club’s finish in the top four. His Premiership experience with Saracens and Newcastle is clear to see, especially in his breakdown skills which have proved a real asset.
Saull, 27, crossed the whitewash twice against Moseley in March and again off the bench against Bedford Blues on Easter Sunday in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Finally, Doncaster are included in the nominee lineup for the fourth time this season, with Will Hurrell singled out for the March award. The 26-year-old back, who has featured at both wing and centre, has made a huge impact on the Knights’ midfield this season.
Hugely physical with ball in hand and a brick wall in defence, Hurrell’s tries against London Scottish and Moseley, combined with a superb performance in the narrow defeat to league leaders Bristol, saw him stand out for the panel.
To vote for your March Greene King IPA Championship Player of the Month, visit www.englandrugby.com/champ-potm and be in with a chance of winning a pitch day at Twickenham for you and eight friends.
Voting closes on midnight on Sunday 17 April.
James Freeman pictured below with one of our young Mini/Junior players, and team-mate Tom Howe, after the cup win over Dragons Select in January, and above receiving a Man-of-the-Match award from sponsor Praxis IFM following the game against London Welsh in February. Pics by Rich Chapman
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