Northampton Saints scrum-half Cobus Reinach admits his confidence on the field is sky high at the moment, after the 28-year-old scooped the prestigious Gallagher Premiership player of the month award for December.
The South African hit world-class form last month, scoring four unforgettable tries in three Premiership matches and helping Saints claim back-to-back victories against Worcester Warriors and Exeter Chiefs.
"Getting those wins was really important for us; we needed to build confidence."Cobus Reinach
Reinach becomes the first Saint since Courtney Lawes in September 2017 to win the Premiership's player of the month competition, which is voted for by a panel of media professionals alongside a public poll which drew more than 2,000 votes on the Premiership Rugby app.
“This is obviously a great feeling and I just want to say thank you to the rest of the team as we put a good few performances in together,” said Reinach.
“Getting those wins was really important for us; we needed to build confidence and when the team goes well, everybody goes well.
“We are getting better as a side all the time, and when the confidence is high you are more willing to try different things – and when those come off, it usually means points on the board for Saints.”
Reinach was involved in a three-way battle to win the award, eventually beating Sale Sharks scrum-half Faf de Klerk and Harlequins blindside Alex Dombrandt to the title.
And the No.9 was presented with his award by Gallagher Community Hero, Claire Jones, who is one of the Club photographers at Saints. Claire was one of 24 Community Heroes chosen by new title partner, Gallagher, at the start of the 2018-19 season thanks to her work raising money for Northampton Saints wheelchair rugby team.
Reinach – as part of his prize for being named Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month – wins 25 tickets to a future Northampton Saints match to be gifted to a local club, school or community group of his choice.
Former Harlequins, England and Lions wing Ugo Monye, who watched Reinach close up throughout December while commentating for BT Sport, said: “He is the ‘in form’ No.9 in Gallagher Premiership Rugby at the moment and incredibly important to Northampton Saints.
“He has revitalised them and we know how competitive this league is with everyone being able to beat everyone, but the back-to-back performances against Worcester away and Exeter at home, especially scoring two intercepted tries, were so impressive.
“When you get a result against one of the top two teams, it gives you more than just a win – it gives you confidence that you can go toe-to-toe with the very best.
“It’s not just all about his attacking sense; defensively he is just as good. It wasn’t only the magnitude of the victories Saints secured, but also the key moments Reinach had – such as the cover tackle on Bryce Heem against Worcester, which completely changed the energy of that game.
“If Heem had scored, Worcester would have been comfortable and potentially winning, but that cover tackle, an intercept and the match-winning points against top-of-the-table Exeter, make Reinach stand out.”