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Goneva named Aviva Premiership player of the Month

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Vereniki Goneva praised the performances of his Leicester Tigers teammates after landing the Aviva Premiership Player of the Month award for February.

Goneva scored three tries in three games during February and was the Aviva Man-of-the-Match in the away fixtures at Worcester and London Irish.

His performances helped him to the award ahead of Sale Sharks skipper Dan Braid, Bath Rugby flyer Nick Abendanon and London Irish second row George Skivington.

“I am really happy to be the Aviva Premiership Player of the Month,” said Fiji international Goneva. “It’s down to the hard work from the boys and the rest of the team, which makes my job easier.

“It’s a big surprise. There are a lot of very good players in the Aviva Premiership so I am really happy to win.”

BT Sport pundit Austin Healey said: “Niki has been so valuable in keeping Leicester Tigers' title hopes alive in the absence of Manu Tuilagi.

"He has that something special that can break a defence when seemingly there is nothing on. With fast feet, incredible strength and a classy offloading game he creates tries both for himself and for his teammates.

“Tries from nowhere win matches and with Manu back in partnership with Niki they could just carry Leicester all the way to Twickenham on 31 May.”

Goneva wins a trophy from title sponsor Aviva and £250 to donate to the Matt Hampson Foundation.

His attention, and that of the Tigers, now turns to Saturday’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against ASM Clermont Auvergne. The hosts go into the game on the back of a 74-game winning run at their Stade Marcel Michelin home and Goneva says the pressure is off the Tigers squad.

“I am looking forward to it,” he says. “It’s a huge game for us. They have a fantastic home record but records are there to be broken. There is no real pressure on us, we can just go and give it a real good go.”

If you are unable to follow Tigers to France for the Heineken Cup quarter-final this weekend, you can follow all of the action with 'Away Days at Home' coverage on the big screens in The Final Whistle at Welford Road.

The doors will open at 1.30pm to allow fans the chance to watch Munster take on Toulouse at Thomond Park (1.30pm kick-off), the first quarter-final of the Heineken Cup weekend.

Kick-off between Clermont and Tigers is at 4pm UK time and we'll be showing all of it at the home of the Tigers.
And Final Whistle will remain open for the clash between Ulster Rugby and Saracens at Ravenhill (kick-off 6.30pm).

Ticketing of this event has been introduced to allow us to more efficiently measure interest and provide space, seats, screens and staff accordingly. Admission is £2 per person, but you will be able to exchange your ticket for £2 off food or refreshments in The Final Whistle on the day.

You can buy tickets online any time by clicking here, or phone the Tigers ticket office on 0844 856 1880 (option 2) or visit in person at Welford Road.