Cobus Reinach has been rewarded for his fantastic form by winning the Gallagher Premiership player of the month prize for December.
Reinach scored four tries in just three league games during the final month of 2018.
He doubled up in the narrow defeat to Newcastle Falcons on December 1 before grabbing key scores in wins against Worcester Warriors and table-topping Exeter Chiefs.
He becomes the first Saints player to win a Premiership player of the month prize since Courtney Lawes claimed the September award in 2017.
“He is the in-form No.9 in Gallagher Premiership Rugby at the moment and incredibly important to Northampton Saints,” said Ugo Monye, the former Harlequins, England and Lions wing, who has seen Reinach close up in his role with BT Sport.
“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.
“If you are able to put on that level of performance, you need your top players and we know how important your No.9 is to do that.
“For me the impact that Cobus Reinach is having on the team — considering where Northampton were — has been incredible.”
Reinach has also done some vital defensive work, with a sensational try-saving tackle in the win at Worcester a stand-out moment.
Monye added: “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.”
Reinach was presented with his award by Gallagher Community Hero, Claire Jones, who is the club photographer at Saints.
As part of his prize for being named Gallagher Premiership Rugby player of the month, Reinach wins 25 tickets to a future Saints match to be gifted to a local club, school or community group of his choice.
Reinach topped the fans' vote and was judged by a panel of experts as the player who made the biggest impact in Gallagher Premiership Rugby over the month of December.
He was involved in a three-way battle to win the award, eventually beating Sale Sharks scrum-half Faf de Klerk and Harlequins blindside flanker Alex Dombrandt to the title.