On Wednesday May 7 at the Hibernia College IRUPA Rugby Players' Awards, former Ulster and Ireland prop Simon Best will become the 14th player to be inducted into the BNY Mellon IRUPA Hall of Fame.
2014 inductee Simon Best will join other greats such as Denis Hickie, John Hayes, Anthony Foley, David Humphreys and Keith Wood in the Players Association's Hall of Fame.
Simon represented and captained Ulster, Ireland 'A' and Ireland in a career that also saw him capped by Ireland at Schools, Under-19, Under-21 and Under-23 levels.
Hailing from Poyntzpass in County Armagh and educated at Portadown College and Newcastle University, he began his professional rugby career in 1996 on a semi-professional basis with Newcastle Falcons before joining his native Ulster in 1999.
In 2005 he took up the role of Ulster captain, a position he held for two years, leading the team to the Magners League title in the 2005/06 season.
He won his first senior Ireland cap as a replacement against Tonga in June 2003 and made his first start the following August in the Rugby World Cup warm-up game against Wales. He was subsequently selected in the 2003 Rugby World Cup squad.
He remained part of the Ireland squad for the next four years, scoring his first and only try for Ireland against Japan in the first test of the tour in 2005.
He captained Ireland in two Tests during their tour to Argentina in 2007 and was also selected for his second Rugby World Cup tournament later that year where he made three appearances before being ruled out due to a heart condition which ultimately saw his retirement from the game.
On hearing of his induction, Simon said: "I am extremely honoured to accept this award and am thrilled to be inducted into the BNY Mellon IRUPA Hall of Fame alongside some of Ireland's greatest rugby players."
Omar Hassanein, CEO of IRUPA, commented: "IRUPA is honoured to welcome Simon into the BNY Mellon IRUPA Hall of Fame, taking his place amongst some of the greats of the game in Ireland.
"Simon's commitment to Ulster and Irish rugby has been immense and such is his passion for the game that he continues to contribute to IRUPA through his involvement in establishing our Past Player Alumni."
BNY Mellon are also sponsors of the inaugural Women's Sevens Player of the Year for 2014 which will be presented at the Hibernia College IRUPA Rugby Players Awards which take place at Dublin's DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on Wednesday, May 7.
Irish rugby fans will experience the excitement of a major World Rugby Women's Sevens tournament for the first time this August with the announcement that 'Women's Sevens Dublin' will be held in UCD on Saturday, August 22 and Sunday, August 23.
The Rugby World Cup recently went on a whistle-stop tour of Ireland, taking in all four provinces as rugby fans, both young and old, got up close and personal with the game's most prized piece of silverware. Watch highlights of the tour, including short interviews with Reggie Corrigan, Alain Rolland and Shane Byrne.
Current Ireland stars Ian Madigan and Nora Stapleton joined Alan Kerins (Alan Kerins Projects), Denis Hickie (patron to Gorta-Self Help Africa) and Irish rugby greats Tony Ward and Ollie Campbell in St. Stephen's Green today to launch the unique and historic 'Caps to the Summit' event.
Coach Allen Clarke and stand-in captain Billy Holland answer questions from the media following Emerging Ireland's 45-12 victory over Georgia in the final round of their successful Tbilisi Cup campaign.
Emerging Ireland coach Allen Clarke speaks about his side's five-try 33-7 win over Uruguay in the Tbilisi Cup and the first half injury to captain Rhys Ruddock. They wrap up the tournament against hosts Georgia on Sunday.
Speaking about the floods that occurred following the Tbilisi Cup's first round, Emerging Ireland team manager Joey Miles said: "A natural event like that, a tragedy like that puts the game of rugby into perspective. We express our regrets to the Georgian people and the Georgian Union for the terrible tragedy that they had."
Leinster and Ireland prop Martin Moore gives his support to the IRFU Charitable Trust's Corporate Patron Scheme, and Mick Quinn explains the benefits for companies getting involved. For further information, please contact Linda Black of the Charitable Trust - telephone (01) 6473866 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.irishrugby.ie/news/34728.php.
David O'Reilly from the IRFU Charitable Trust's Corporate Patrons Committee speaks about the new scheme which provides businesses with unique networking opportunities and provides a platform for companies to effectively activate their CSR programmes. For further information, please contact Linda Black of the Charitable Trust - telephone (01) 6473866 or email: email@example.com / http://www.irishrugby.ie/news/34728.php.
We spoke to Leinster and Ireland winger Dave Kearney after the Captain's Run at Thomond Park as he prepares to take on some familiar faces and some well-capped stars when the Ireland XV play the Barbarians.
Leinster prop Tadhg Furlong is one of two uncapped players in the Ireland XV starting team to play the Barbarians. We caught up with the young prop at Thomond Park as he prepares to pull on the green jersey.
Jamie Heaslip will captain the Ireland XV against the Barbarians at Thomond Park on Thursday. He spoke to Irish Rugby TV about facing the star-studded visitors and the battle he is relishing with his Leinster colleague Shane Jennings, who captains the Baa Baas.
Ireland Under-20 head coach Nigel Carolan has likened the World Rugby Under-20 Championship to 'a mini Six Nations in three weeks'. His side take on Argentina in their tournament opener in Parma next Tuesday.
Ireland Under-20 backs Nick McCarthy and Garry Ringrose and Feargal O'Rourke from team sponsors PwC spoke to Irish Rugby TV as the squad prepare for the World Rugby U-20 Championship which starts next week in Italy.
We caught up with Sean O'Brien at the Canterbury Ireland training kit launch where he spoke about next week's Barbarians game, the build-up to the Rugby World Cup and 'moving forward' with Leinster next season.
We caught up with Ireland international Luke Fitzgerald at the launch of the new Canterbury Ireland training kit. He spoke about his recovery from shoulder surgery and his aim to be fit for the Guinness Summer Series games in August.