24 May, 14:08
The Irish Rugby Supporters Club is delighted to announce that tickets for the GUINNESS Series 2013 will go on sale on ticketmaster.ie at 10am on Thursday, May 30.
Kearney's province, Leinster, were proclaimed the Dave Guiney Team of the Year after securing their third European title in four years.
Claire Molloy picked up the Women's Player of the Year after a fantastic season which included captaining the Ireland Women's Sevens team to Rugby World Cup Sevens qualification.
St. Mary's College RFC were voted Club of the Year due to their success in the Ulster Bank League this past season.
The Tom Rooney award went to Kelly Wilson for his exceptional contribution to the game over the years and his continued involvement with Ulster Rugby.
Former Ireland full-back Paddy Berkery and hooker and captain Ciaran Fitzgerald were inducted into the GUINNESS Hall of Fame.
The award ceremony was hosted by Peter O'Brien of GUINNESS and John D O'Brien, Honorary Secretary of the Rugby Writers of Ireland.
2012 GUINNESS RUGBY WRITERS OF IRELAND AWARD WINNERS:
PLAYER OF THE YEAR - ROB KEARNEY
Rob Kearney made his Ireland debut in the summer of 2007 against Argentina and has amassed 41 caps to date for his country.
In 2009 he was a standout performer on the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa and played in all three Tests, picking up one try along the way. Prior to touring, Kearney picked up the first of his three European Cup medals.
In the past season, he has been a consistent performer for both province and country and aided Leinster greatly in their successful defence of the European Cup, starting in all nine cup games and scoring six tries.
For Ireland, Kearney was ever-present in the number 15 jersey since the defeat of Australia at the Rugby World Cup - until recent surgery on his back forced him to miss this month's GUINNESS Series. He is set to return in the New Year.
CLUB OF THE YEAR - ST. MARY'S COLLEGE RFC
St. Mary's College RFC was founded in 1900 in St. Mary's College, Rathmines by former students of the school. The club has made a huge contribution to Irish rugby since its formation, having spawned many world class internationals as well as a host of British & Irish Lions.
A word of mention must also go to the number of administrators in the game who have come from the club.
Having won the All-Ireland League in the 1999/00 season, the club failed to capture the title again until this year.
In what came down to the final minutes of the season, they claimed the Ulster Bank League title for the first time in 12 years in dramatic style when overcoming a dogged Young Munster side.
As second-placed Clontarf took on Lansdowne at the Aviva stadium, only a win would do for the side from Templeville Road and it came down to a late try by centre Mark Sexton to seal a 23-19 victory for them.
DAVE GUINEY PERPETUAL TROPHY (TEAM OF THE YEAR) - LEINSTER
Leinster cemented their status as the top team in Europe by claiming back-to-back European Cups this past season after defeating provincial rivals Ulster 42-14 at Twickenham in May.
Having drawn in the first round away to Montpellier, Leinster went on to defeat all their opponents en route to claiming their third title in four years.
A week after being crowned champions of Europe, they narrowly missed out on doing the double as they agonisingly lost 31-30 to the Ospreys in the RaboDirect PRO12 final at the RDS.
TOM ROONEY AWARD - KELLY WILSON
Kelly Wilson played prop for both Ulster and Ireland, as well as with his club North. When North and Collegians combined together, Kelly played his part in producing the club that is now called Belfast Harlequins. Kelly currently holds the title of President at Belfast Harlequins and he previously served as President of the Ulster Branch in 2002.
GUINNESS HALL OF FAME
Paddy Berkery won the first of his 11 Ireland caps against Wales in March 1954. He played alongside many players who claimed the Grand Slam and Triple Crowns in the late 1940s.
Paddy retired on the same day as another Hall of Famer, Jack Kyle. Upon retirement, Paddy has made a huge contribution to his club, Lansdowne FC, and was club President in the 1976/77 season.
Ciaran Fitzgerald is a former captain of Ireland and the British & Irish Lions. He led his country to the Triple Crown in 1982 and 1985 as well the Five Nations Championship victory in 1983.
Fitzgerald was appointed Ireland coach in 1990 and held the reins until November 1992. He was a keen hurler and boxer in his youth and balanced his time playing for Ireland with serving in the Armed Forces. Fitzgerald is still very much involved in rugby, and can be heard offering his opinion as a TV and radio pundit.
WOMEN'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR - CLAIRE MOLLOY
Claire took up rugby while studying in Cardiff University. She was previously a keen Gaelic football player but made the transition to rugby with Bristol Rugby Club when her studies took her across the Irish sea.
Since changing codes she has also played for Connacht. Claire made her first appearance for Ireland in 2010 and this year she was selected as captain for the Irish Women's Sevens team that has now qualified for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2013.
|irishrugby.ie Fans' Poll|