After earning three consecutive Man of the Match awards, André Esterhuizen made the choice for January’s Premiership Rugby player of the month an easy one.
The big South African had a month to remember, scoring a match-winning try against Exeter Chiefs and helping Harlequins come from behind to beat the Northampton Saints at Twickenham in the Big Game.
The number 12 possesses all the attributes required to be a world-class player.
He and Manu Tuilagi are arguably the most devastating ball carriers in the league, and Esterhuizen is one of the major reasons that Marcus Smith can weave his magic in a match.
Esterhuizen is a relentless ball carrier and always gets his team over the advantage line. He’s also a menace at the breakdown and, at 113 kg, is almost impossible to move when he is locked over the ball.
The Springbok has eight caps to his name, the last of which was in 2019. With World Rugby allowing players to switch nationalities after a three-year period of residing in the new country, fans may very well see him in an England shirt if Esterhuizen has any English heritage in his family.
It could lead to a possible partnership with Tuilagi in England’s midfield, making them the most powerful combination in world rugby.
The award was judged by media personnel, and fans were allowed to vote on the Premiership Rugby app.
Part of his prize will be a Harlequins shirt signed by all the players that will be donated to a charity of his choice, which will then be used to raise funds.
Harlequins will have a huge advantage now that the Six Nations has begun as most Premiership teams will lose their international stars during the tournament. Esterhuizen will be one of the few major drawcard players that will still be available.