ALEX LEWINGTON has been named London Irish player of the month for December, The Wokingham Paper can exclusively reveal.
The winger started all three Premiership games last month, scoring a try in defeat to Worcester Warriors.
And as a reward for his fine performances, the 26-year-old wins a Citizen watch, courtesy of award sponsors Waltons Jewellers.
“I would’ve traded it for a couple of wins in December,” Lewington told The Wokingham Paper.
“But on a personal note it’s good to know that at least I’m contributing to the performances we are giving.
“We’re obviously disappointed we haven’t converted those tight games in recent weeks into victories, but the reassuring thing is we are close and we’re taking the points.
“When eventually we do get some wins, we’re not too far away from Worcester and we can claw them back a bit.”
Lewington’s progress was stalled by a nasty knee injury picked up on England Saxons duty in the summer of 2016, which ruled him out of action until February 2017.
And he says this award confirms that he is returning to his best again.
“It feels reassuring,” said Lewington.
“Obviously when you have a long-term injury, people always have that little bit of doubt about whether you’re going to come back and be available all the time and how it’s going
to react with training week in, week out and playing.
“But I’ve been really lucky and it’s going great.
“This time last year I was just starting to run again, out on the pitch in the rain just running on my own whereas it’s a lot more fun being in and around the team.”
It is fair to say the return to the Premiership has not gone to plan for London Irish.
Winless in the league since the opening day, the Exiles are rooted to the foot of the table, nine points adrift of nearest challengers Worcester.
But having been relegated with Irish in 2016, Lewington insists the Exiles are in a better shape this time around.
“I’m coming up to a point in this squad where I am probably a bit more experienced than some of the boys,” he said.
“I’ve been in this position before with Irish but I would say we’re in a lot better place this time around than we were the last time in terms of the personnel we’ve got in place and just the positivity within the group.
“I think we have a much better chance of survival than we did last time in this scenario.”
The league now takes a four-week break with Irish hosting Russian side Krasny Yar at Madejski Stadium on Saturday.
Tickets are still available from just £1 for children.