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.
Establishing an awards' dinner in the association's first season gives IRUPA further credibility and over 450 turned up at last (Thursday) night's ceremony and fittingly the legendary Peter Clohessy and Mick Galwey were inducted into the association's Hall of Fame.
>Ulster's openside Neil McMillan won the Young Player Award and Jason Holland won the Unsung Hero Award for players who achieve a high level of performance but don't get the recognition they deserve,
The full list of award winners is,
Players Player Of The Year: Malcolm O'Kelly (St Mary's College, Leinster and Ireland). Also nominated: Geordan Murphy (Leicester and Ireland) and John Hayes (Shannon, Munster and Ireland).
Unsung Hero: Jason Holland (Midleton, Munster and Ireland). Also nominated: Mark McHugh (St Mary's College and Connacht) and Dave Quinlan (Blackrock College and Leinster).
Hall Of Fame: Mick Galwey (Shannon, Munster and Ireland) and Peter Clohessy (Young Munster, Munster and Ireland).
Try Of The Year: Gordon D'Arcy for Leinster v Swansea, St Helens, October 19th. Also nominated: Wayne Munn for Connact v Leinster, Donnybrook, September 13th, and Rob Henderson for Munster v Neath, Cardiff, February 1st.
Young Player Of The Year: Neil McMillan (Ballymena and Ulster). Also nominated: Mossy Lawlor (Shannon and Munster) and John O'Sullivan (Garryowen and Connacht).