Ireland hopeful Dillane lands Player of the Month award
Connacht's promising lock Ultan Dillane has claimed the Hartmanns of Galway and SEIKO Watches December Player of the Month award.
The 22-year-old France-born forward has made 18 appearances for Connacht, and was this week also named in the Ireland Six Nations squad.
Dillane was part of Joe Schmidt's squad that trained at Carton House earlier this month, and could make his Ireland debut against Wales in two weeks' time.
The Connacht players and management nominated their three candidates, and the fans picked Dillane, after he played all 80 minutes in the crucial 25-10 win over Newcastle Falcons at the Sportsground in December, and also played the full game as Connacht fell to a disappointing last-minute Pro12 defeat against Ulster, their first loss at the Sportsground this season.
He beat off stiff competition from wing Niyi Adeolokun and prop Finlay Bealham to claim the final player of the month award of 2015.
Adeolokun played in both games against the Falcons, and also played all 80 minutes in the defeat to Ulster. Bealham, who can play on either side of the scrum, has featured in every game so far this season.
Having not won a Pro12 game since November's historic win in Munster, December was a poor month for Connacht on both fronts.