Alex Mitchell was today named Gallagher Player of the Month for November, with pundit Ugo Monye describing the Northampton Saints scrum-half as the ‘heartbeat’ of his side.
The livewire No.9 has been a key figure as the men in Black, Green and Gold surged into the Gallagher Premiership’s top four over the last fortnight with wins over Bristol Bears and Bath.
Mitchell has been on scintillating form and joins an elite group of Saints past and present to have won the prestigious prize, awarded for the standout player across the league over the course of the month – with Rory Hutchinson (February 2019), Cobus Reinach (December 2018), Courtney Lawes (September 2017), Teimana Harrison (April 2016), Samu Manoa (December 2014) and Dylan Hartley (January 2014) having all been named Premiership Player of the Month in recent years.
And BT Sport pundit and Gallagher ambassador Monye believes Mitchell has well and truly earned the accolade through his impressive performances this term for Northampton.
“When you look at Northampton Saints in detail, Alex Mitchell seems like the heartbeat and catalyst,” he said. “They’re such an aesthetically pleasing team to watch, but there’s also been real productivity and outcome from their style of play which is very effective.
“I think Mitchell’s been a key contributor in it, be that from his set-piece play or just adding tempo into the game, he seems to get their team ticking.”Ugo Monye
“The big thing for Northampton this season is they’ve brought together all the key elements of their game, which they’ve been working hard on over the last couple of years. They’ve started the season brilliantly well, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they continued like that later into the season.
“The biggest compliment you can give Mitchell is that he’d have been disappointed not to have played a more significant role in the Autumn Nations Series, but he’s gone back to his club and bounced back really well.”
It’s a measure of how highly rated Mitchell has become at Saints that he was voted the Gallagher Premiership’s Player of the Month for November on the strength of one appearance during the month; the 36-20 win against the Bears at Ashton Gate.
He set up three of the four tries Saints scored that night, but he also boasts the most try involvements in the Premiership this season from his eight appearances, bagging four for himself and assisting another eight.
Club liaison for Northampton Saints and MD of Gallagher’s Leicester branch, Chris Noah, added: “It’s great to see Alex Mitchell named Gallagher Player of the Month for the integral role he has played in an increasingly commanding and confident Saints side, that has well and truly earned its top-three spot.
“With his bursts towards the line, deft little dummies and masterful passing, you’ll always find Alex at the centre of the action and typically helping his team-mates over the line.
“He has certainly ensured there has been lots for local supporters to savour of late at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, and fans can now turn their focus and expectations to the Big Game post-Christmas clash with Harlequins on the hallowed turf of Twickenham. Congratulations Alex!”
As part of his prize for being named Gallagher Player of the Month, Mitchell wins a shirt signed by the whole Northampton Saints squad and framed by Gallagher to gift to a charity of his choice, to help them raise funds for their chosen cause. Alex has chosen Niamh’s Next Step (www.nns.org.uk/).
Mitchell was judged by a panel of experts as the player who made the biggest impact in Gallagher Premiership Rugby in November 2021. Mitchell was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances, alongside a public poll on the Premiership Rugby app.
The judges were: Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Gavin Mairs (The Daily Telegraph), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), Hugh Godwin (I), Andrew Baldock (Press Association), Bobby Bridge (Coventry Telegraph), John Everly (Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle), Jill Douglas (Broadcaster), Craig Swayne (@BallcarrierRugby), 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.
Winners in the 2021-22 season
November – Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints)
October – George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
September – Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons)