5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland Under-19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday week (December 14) has been announced.
Ulster and Ireland centre/winger Andrew Trimble's season is set to end n a high note next month - even if Mark McCall's men in white do not lift the Celtic League title.
The 21-year-old Trimble, despite this being just his second senior season, is the red hot favourite to win the Young Player of the Year award at the annual Guinness Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner at the Ramada Hotel on Thursday, May 18.
And the Theology student is also in the running for the Senior prize as Ulster's Player of the Year, with pack strong men Justin Harrison and Neil Best both nominated too.
The award categories cover areas of schools, youth, club and professional rugby with the coveted top award - the Guinness Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year going to the player, coach, official or administrator who, through their performance during the season, has done the most to raise the profile of Ulster Rugby. The winner will be revealed on the night.
Young gun Tommy Bowe, in his first full Ulster season, picked up the top award last year so the omens are got for Trimble, who is up against Stephen Ferris, who has edged Neil McMillan out of the Ulster back row in recent weeks, and Ireland Under-21 hooker and captain Stuart Philpott for the Young Player gong.
The nominees for all awards as are follows:
CALOR GAS YOUTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Steven Ferguson (City of Derry RFC), Leigh Jackson (Cavan RFC), William Stewart (Ballyclare RFC)
NORTHERN BANK ULSTER SCHOOLS PLAYER - Stephen Douglas (RBAI): James McCullough (RBAI), Jamie Smith (Campbell College)
KUKRI CLUB OF THE YEAR - Banbridge RFC, Ballymoney RFC, Rainey RFC
PERENNIALS DORRINGTON B. FAULKNER, "UNSUNG HERO" AWARD - Michael Anderson (Instonians RFC), Ian Beggs (Carrickfergus RFC), Laurence Caldwell (Ballyclare RFC), Billy Dickson (Ards RFC)
FIRST TRUST BANK CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR - David Cobain (Malone), Michael Glancy (Belfast Harlequins), Glenn Moore (Queens), Dirkie Strydom (Ballymena)
BELFAST TELEGRAPH MERIT AWARD - to be announced on May 18
BANK OF IRELAND ULSTER PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Neil Best, Justin Harrison, Andrew Trimble
ULSTER YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Stephen Ferris, Stuart Philpott, Andrew Trimble
GUINNESS ULSTER RUGBY PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR - to be announced on May 18