Saints fly-half Smith claims Premiership player of the month prize

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Fin Smith has seen off competition from Saints team-mate Ollie Sleightholme to claim the Gallagher Premiership player of the month award for January.

Smith, Sleightholme, Exeter Chiefs wing Immanuel Feyi-Waboso and Newcastle Falcons flanker Guy Pepper were all nominated.

But it was the Saints fly-half who scooped the prize, securing 43 per cent of the vote.

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Smith is one of the Premiership's rising stars and has impressively marshalled the black, green and gold to a seven-point lead at the top of the table.

Fin Smith (picture: Premiership Rugby)Fin Smith (picture: Premiership Rugby)
Fin Smith (picture: Premiership Rugby)

His fine form earned him a call-up to England's Guinness Six Nations squad in the process, and he made his debut in the competition's curtain raiser against Italy.

Smith was excellent for Saints in January, helping Phil Dowson's side to see off Exeter, Bayonne and, memorably, Munster.

He becomes the second Saints player in as many months to win the Premiership player of the month prize, following in the footsteps of Courtney Lawes, who grabbed the award in December.

Bath also have two winners so far this season, with Ben Spencer and Ollie Lawrence earning the honours in October and November respectively.