manu tuilagi leicester and england saxonsManu Tuilagi has been voted the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month.

The Leicester Tigers youngster was picked for March by a panel made up of rugby media representatives from print, TV, radio and the photographers.

Rugby World editor Paul Morgan, who chairs the panel, commented: “In his first season, and at just 19 years of age, Manu Tuilagi is fast becoming one of the most impressive players in the Aviva Premiership. His natural speed, handling skills and above all a penchant for crunching tackles, have contributed to Manu being one of this season’s leading try scores. Following a number of stand-out performances he is the worthy winner of Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for March.”

Manu spoke of the pride he felt for being named March’s Player of the Month: “I am very pleased to be the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month. To get the award is a great honour.

“It is down to the hard work of the rest of the squad and the coaching staff at Tigers, who have helped me with my game.

“I am surprised with how well it has gone because at the start of the season I was just trying to get into the team and all the time you are working hard and trying to earn that Tigers shirt.”

Director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “Manu is a good player, is working really hard and has been playing well for us.

“He is developing and learning with every game and is really enjoying his rugby.”

Heather Smith, Head of Sponsorship for Premiership Rugby sponsors Aviva added: “During his breakthrough season in the Aviva Premiership, Manu has displayed a level of maturity on the pitch normally associated with a much more seasoned professional. I’m sure we will continue to hear about Manu and his performances for many years to come.”