10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
The Ulster Bank Player of the Year, in each division, was named along with the Ulster Bank Top Try Scorer, the Ulster Bank Top Points Scorer and the Ulster Bank Young Player of the Year from Division 1A.
The Ulster Bank Player of the Year award winners were selected from a shortlist of three players, compiled by a panel of judges including Irish Daily Mail club rugby journalist Adam Redmond and veteran club rugby journalist Kieran Rooney.
The awards were presented, to each winner, by legendary former Leinster and Ireland prop Reggie Corrigan. The winners are as follows:
1. Ulster Bank Player of the Year - Division 1A: Craig Ronaldson, Lansdowne FC, Dublin
2. Ulster Bank Player of the Year - Division 1B: Stuart Morrow, Ballynahinch RFC, Down
3. Ulster Bank Player of the Year - Division 2A: Willie Staunton, Terenure College RFC, Dublin
4. Ulster Bank Player of the Year - Division 2B: Henry Bryce, Naas RFC, Kildare
5. Ulster Bank Top Try Scorer - Division 1A: Michael McGrath, Clontarf RFC, Dublin
6. Ulster Bank Top Points Scorer - Division 1A: Craig Ronaldson, Lansdowne FC, Dublin
7. Ulster Bank Young Player of the Year - Division 1A: Johnny Holland, Cork Constitution FC, Cork
Speaking at the awards, Carol McMahon, Head of Sponsorship at Ulster Bank, said: "As Official Community Rugby Partner to the IRFU, Ulster Bank is a proud supporter of grassroots rugby.
"Having seen the outstanding commitment and dedication that players and club members make, week in and week out, introducing the Ulster Bank League Awards was a natural fit for us.
"The awards are about recognising the outstanding talent that lines out on rugby pitches, across the country, every weekend.
"I would like to congratulate our 2013 and first ever Ulster Bank League Award winners and we look forward to seeing what next year's league brings."
Also speaking at the awards, Scott Walker, IRFU Director of Rugby Development and the Club Game, said: "The Ulster Bank League produces some of the most exciting rugby in Ireland. Clubs, all over the country, are filled with talented young stars who dedicate their evenings and weekends to the great game.
"With the development of our provincial sides, club rugby doesn't get the recognition it deserves. I would like to congratulate Ulster Bank on this excellent initiative."
Now in their third year as Official Community Rugby Partner to the IRFU, Ulster Bank also runs the annual Ulster Bank RugbyForce initiative - an initiative which provides rugby clubs with support to renovate their club and upgrade their facilities.
Four lucky rugby clubs (one from each province) were announced this week as winners of a support package worth €5,000 each. The four winners selected were Birr RFC in Offaly, Midleton RFC in Cork, Westport RFC in Mayo and Newry RFC in Down.
A shortlist of 16 rugby clubs, who have been selected by a panel of judges, are also in with a chance of being named as an Ulster Bank RugbyForce winner.
These 16 rugby clubs will now be put to a public vote and the club with the highest number of votes will be named as the fifth winner of the support package worth €5,000.
Voting opened on Monday, May 13 and will remain open until Friday, May 24. Votes can be cast online at www.ulsterbank.com/rugby .
All winning clubs will also receive a special training session from an IRFU coach and two Irish rugby stars.