Snubbed England No8 Alex Dombrandt was acclaimed as one of the rising stars of the English game while being named Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for January 2020.

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The barnstorming back-rower continued his impressive form in January as Harlequins ended the month with a decisive win over Saracens putting them in Gallagher Premiership Rugby’s top six.

Dombrandt’s performances in January were praised by Ugo Monye, the former England and Lions wing who is now a BT Sport pundit, covering Gallagher Premiership Rugby, and Gallagher brand ambassador.

“Alex has been simply outstanding,” said Monye. “There was always the potential of second season syndrome but that certainly hasn’t affected him.

“He is such a threat with ball in hand, so physical and direct but he’s coupled that with a real intellect.

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“The lad has gone from playing university rugby just over a year ago to now having the English media calling for him to be in the Six Nations squad. That’s the rise that he has made and that should be an inspiration to everyone else playing lower league rugby.

“He has really paved the way and shown that with really good coaching, loads of hard work and opportunities, you can achieve the heights that he is currently setting.”

Dombrandt was presented with his award by Toby Edwards, Head of Commercial for Gallagher in Guildford, where the insurance broker has a 100-strong team as part of its UK-wide network of more than 70 branches.

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The calls for Dombrandt to be elevated to the England squad have grown louder in recent weeks and Monye believes it is only a matter of time before he wears the red rose.

Monye added: “For Alex, his focus has just got to be on continuing to put out the performances which he is doing.

“He will have plenty of opportunities. As he is such a young man he can’t get frustrated or side-tracked, he has got to keep focused on the task at hand.

“Without a shadow of a doubt (he can have an impact in the England team).

“It’s important to be given an opportunity.

“If he doesn’t get a shot in this Six Nations you’d hope that he would be given an opportunity in the tour of Japan this summer.”

Gallagher’s Toby Edwards, who caught up with Dombrandt at Harlequins’ training ground in Guildford to present him with his award, said:

“As a massive rugby fan, supporter of Wales on the international stage and former fellow No.8 it’s a total privilege and pleasure to present January’s Player of the Month award to local Surrey lad Alex who has also run out for Wales Under-20s. The speed at which he has settled into top-flight rugby in the Gallagher Premiership is matched only by his strength, skill and dominance on the pitch for Harlequins — much to the delight of all us that are local fans.”

He was involved in a three-way battle to win the award eventually beating Sale Sharks pair Will Cliff and Rohan Janse Van Rensburg.

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