Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Goneva 'Humbled' after Landing League Accolade; Delight as Falcons'Fijian Star Named as Aviva Player of the Season

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Goneva 'Humbled' after Landing League Accolade; Delight as Falcons'Fijian Star Named as Aviva Player of the Season

Article excerpt

Byline: SEAN DOUGLASS Reporter sean.douglass@trinitymirror.com

VERENIKI Goneva has been named Aviva Premiership Player of the Season for his stellar season with the Newcastle Falcons.

The flying Fijian's 13 tries saw him tie for most in the league and were key to the club's surprise fourth-place finish.

A play-off semi-final at defending champions Exeter on Saturday awaits for the Dean Richards' men as a reward for their best season since winning the title in 1998.

Goneva was selected to receive the honour ahead of Exeter Chiefs back row Don Armand, Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani, Northampton flanker Jamie Gibson and Sale scrum-half Faf de Klerk.

The 34-year-old is the first Falcons player to win the league's top individual honour but dedicated the award to his teammates.

"It's a massive thing and I'm really humbled and thankful to be recognised," he said.

"It's not just about me. It's about all the coaching staff, those months of work and all my team-mates so I just want to thank them because without them, I wouldn't be recognised for big awards like this."

He added: "I've been blessed to play alongside some world-class players at the Falcons, so I want to thank all the boys as well because without them, I'd be nothing."

Goneva signed a new deal at Kingston Park earlier this season and is a firm fan favourite after his two seasons with the club.

He missed the club's last game of the regular season, a 39-22 home defeat to Wasps, with a calf injury.

But he is optimistic about his chances of appearing at Sandy Park this weekend.

"Last week and this week, I've been doing some running. I hope to be ready for this week but we'll see what happens this week," he said.

He added: "The physio staff and the medical staff have been working hard behind the scenes so I'm hopeful. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.