Thursday 22 March 2018

Trio vie for player of the month gong

Connacht's Niyi Adeolokun in action. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Connacht's Niyi Adeolokun in action. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile

Daragh Small

The Hartmanns of Galway and Seiko Watches December Player of the Month award is up for grabs, with Niyi Adeolokun, Finlay Bealham and Ultan Dillane shortlisted.

The candidates are nominated by players and management, and the fans can vote for their choice on the Connacht Rugby Facebook page.

Connacht dropped to second in the Pro12 during the final month of 2015 with two defeats from their two outings against Cardiff and Ulster. In Europe they remain top of Pool 1 in the Challenge Cup despite their first loss away to Newcastle Falcons - they did beat the English side at the Sportsground.

Exciting winger Adeolokun played 80 minutes in the 10-3 defeat to Ulster at the Sportsground, and also featured in both Challenge Cup fixtures against the Falcons.

He has become a fans' favourite since his arrival last season, and his prompt contract offer signified his value to the squad.

Prop Bealham continues to make his presence felt in the squad and has become a mainstay in the match-day 23; he played in all four games during December.

His versatility - being able to operate at either loosehead or on the tighthead side - has given Pat Lam a great option during a testing time for the squad.

Another academy graduate, lock Dillane, recently received a call-up to Joe Schmidt's Ireland training camp at Carton House as a reward for his fine performances for the province.

Dillane also played the full game against Ulster and started the 25-10 victory over Newcastle at the Sportsground.

Irish Independent

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