Neath’s Tom James has won the Principality Player of the Month award for March. The 21 year old scrum half has been an influential member of the Welsh All Blacks side this season following the return to New Zealand of Kevin Farrell.

The Aberystwyth-born, Llandovery College product has scored nine tries in the Principality Premiership this season, including three in March – against Swansea and Newport at home and Cross Keys away – helping them to their current position at the top of the league.

He said, “Things have gone well this season, despite the disappointment of being knocked out of the SWALEC Cup and the British Irish Cup. We’re pushing to finish the league season as top club, and that fate is still in our hands if we win our final two games – away to Aberavon and Carmarthen Quins – with bonus points.

“We would then go straight through to the Premiership play-off final. However, Pontypridd are playing really well at the moment too, in three competitions. We just have to hope that having just one competition to focus on will work in our favour. In terms of future plans, I’m not looking too far ahead, I just want to keep playing well for Neath and hopefully something else will come along in terms of Regional offers.”

Neath head coach Patrick Horgan added, “Tom has really come on this season in particular, making the Number 9 shirt his own since Kevin Farrell’s departure. He switched to scrum half two years ago after previously playing centre and outside half and he’s been a key member of the team this year, an excellent club man. We slipped up against Bedwas at the start of the season and a few people write us off but we’ve got ourselves back into a position now to retain the title and we’re determined to do that.”

James was selected for the award by Premiership coaches and WRU performance and development staff.