18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
"This latest investment in Ulster Rugby not only reflects our commitment to rugby at grassroots and representative levels, but the awards dinner provides us with a platform to say well done to all those who contribute to the overall success of Ulster Rugby both at an amateur and professional level."
While the top accolade of Magners' Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year will remain a closely guarded secret until the night, the nominees for the other awards represent clubs from right across the province, and are as follows:
CALOR GAS YOUTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Stephen Irvine (Banbridge RFC), Dominic Gallagher (Lisburn RFC), Chris McDonald (City of Derry RFC)
NORTHERN BANK LTD SCHOOLS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: James McKinney (Campbell College), Steven Lecky (Methodist College), Niall Annett (Methodist College)
KUKRI CLUB OF THE YEAR: Ballynahinch RFC, City of Derry RFC, Bangor RFC, Grosvenor RFC
CITY OF DERRY/KEN GOODALL AWARD CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sam McKinney (Ballymena RFC), Mark Robinson (Queen's University RFC), Chris Stevenson (Ballynahinch RFC), Ian Caldwell (Ballymena RFC)
PERENNIALS DORRINGTON B. FAULKNER, "UNSUNG HERO" AWARD: Barry Leacock (Malone RFC), Alan Egner (Grosvenor RFC), William Davidson (Armagh RFC), WG Boles (Dungannon RFC)
BANK OF IRELAND ULSTER PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Rory Best (Ulster Rugby & Belfast Harlequins), Stephen Ferris (Ulster Rugby & Dungannon RFC), Ed O'Donoghue (Ulster Rugby & Instonians RFC), Simon Danielli (Ulster Rugby & Malone RFC)
PHOENIX ACADEMY PLAYER: Ian Whitten (Ballymena RFC), Willie Faloon (Ballynahinch RFC), Ian Porter (Queen's University RFC)
VODAFONE YOUNG ULSTER PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Darren Cave (Ulster Rugby & Belfast Harlequins), Ian Whitten (Ulster Rugby & Ballymena RFC), David Pollock (Ulster Rugby & Dungannon)
MAGNERS ULSTER RUGBY PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR: To be announced on May 14