It wasn’t by any means an easy decision for the jury considering the fact that December had seen some wonderful performances by many players. To put things into perspective, four players were in fine form for their clubs – Saracen’s Billy Vunipola, Northampton Saints’ Mike Haywood and Kieran Brookes apart from the award-winning Waldrom from Exeter Chiefs. Having brushed aside quality opponents, Waldrom would be really happy at poaching this award.
Waldrom showed exemplary tolerance in waiting for his turn having waited for a long time to get his chance. Once he broke into the team, he proved with a lot of determination that he deserves to be included more often. The 32-year-old began the month with three tries in their win at Wasps before turning in another superb performance with two tries in their European Champions Cup success over Clermont Auvergne.
The New Zealand born forward grabbed an unwanted yellow in the away game to Clermont – perhaps his yellow had an undesirable effect on the team as they went on to lose. He returned in emphatic style by scoring a try in their 33-17 sale over Sale on Boxing Day. Overall, Thomas proved that he can be the dominant forward for the Chiefs.
Will this spur Waldrum to scale greater heights in the coming days? If he does, it could be to the advantage of Exeter Chiefs who would be eager to chase down the leaders Saracens. For now, though, he could bask in the glory of being the best forward for the past month!