By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs winger James Short has been named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for February 2017.
Short, who has been in exceptional form for the Devon club in recent weeks, was judged by a panel of experts as the man who made the biggest impact in the League and his role has been praised by England Rugby World Cup winner Will Greenwood.
The Exeter speedster, who scored a hat-trick of tries in the away win at Worcester Warriors and then another two a week later at home to Newcastle Falcons, is the club’s leading try-scorer this season with 12 touchdowns to his name
“James is a player I have long admired,” said Greenwood. “He has great work rate, energy, desire. James is a team player and has to wait for games sometimes. But when opportunities are offered he gobbles them up as well as the tries!”
Short was involved in a three-way battle for this month’s title, eventually beating two other wings: Sale Sharks Denny Solomona and Vereniki Goneva from Newcastle Falcons.
Short was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in November – 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 Ben Coles (Planet Rugby). The panel was chaired by Paul Morgan, Premiership Rugby’s Communications Director.
Short wins a trophy and a £250 donation to the charity of his choice.
Winners in the 2016-17 season
February – James Short (Exeter Chiefs)
December – Tom Varndell (Bristol Rugby)
November – Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers)
October – Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
September – Jimmy Gopperth (Wasps)