Ospreys out-half Dan Biggar and Glasgow Warriors' Jonny Gray were crowned the Players' Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year respectively at tonight's RaboDirect PRO12 Awards in the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh.
Dan Biggar had already been named in the RaboDirect PRO12 Dream Team for the season last week and scooped the Players' Player of the Year award for his outstanding contribution to the Ospreys' season.
Voted for by the 12 RaboDirect PRO12 captains and ambassadors, the Ospreys out-half beat Glasgow Warriors' Niko Matawalu and Ulster's Ruan Pienaar to the title in an incredibly tight vote.
He follows in the footsteps of Tommy Bowe, Piennar, Tim Visser and last year's winner Nick Williams in picking up the prestigious gong.
Jonny Gray picked up the Young Player of the Year title after not only breaking into and starting in the Glasgow side, but also into the Scottish national team.
He beat Leinster centre Noel Reid to the Young Player honour and follows in the footsteps of previous winners Tim Visser, Toby Faletau, Stuart Hogg and Luke Marshall.
It was a good night for Connacht and Ulster, as they share a £10,000 cheque to put towards youth development after jointly claiming the SpecSavers Fair Play award for having the fewest yellow and red cards and citings over the 22 games.
Rob Penney won the Coach of the Year award after steering Munster into the play-offs again. His side put together a record number of wins during the campaign and finished in third place overall to set up a semi-final clash with Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium next Friday.
Leinster legends Leo Cullen and Brian O'Driscoll both received (in absentia) the Chairman's award in recognition of their outstanding service to their province, their country, the tournament as a whole and the game of rugby union.
Connacht took over from Scarlets as winners of the Rhino Collision Kings award after a panel of experts assessed their efficiency at the breakdown and tackling,
Munster out-half JJ Hanrahan scooped the Rhino Golden Boot award with a goal-kicking success rate of 87.30% (55 kicks out of 63). Cardiff Blues' Gareth Davies came a close second with 86.96%.
2013/14 RaboDirect PRO12 Dream Team: Liam Williams (Scarlets); Jeff Hassler (Ospreys), Casey Laulala (Munster), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Andrew Trimble (Ulster); Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets); David Kilcoyne (Munster), Sean Cronin (Leinster), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Johann Muller (Ulster) (capt), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Rhys Ruddock (Leinster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster),Robin Copeland (Cardiff Blues).
2013/14 RABODIRECT PRO12 AWARD WINNERS:
PLAYERS' PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Dan Biggar (Ospreys)
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors)
COACH OF THE YEAR - Rob Penney (Munster)
CHAIRMAN'S AWARD - Leo Cullen and Brian O'Driscoll (both Leinster)
RHINO GOLDEN BOOT - JJ Hanrahan (Munster)
RHINO COLLISION KINGS - Connacht
SPECSAVERS FAIRPLAY AWARD - Ulster and Connacht (shared)
TRY OF THE YEAR - Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors)
The Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 squads had a busy Easter period with seven matches played in Ashbourne, Cardiff, Llanelli, Caerphilly and Bordeaux. Check out some of the tries scored. Full match reports are available on www.irishrugby.ie.
Speaking to RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was asked about prioritising players playing in Ireland when it comes to national selection over those who are based overseas.
In an interview broadcast on RTE Radio 1's 'Sunday Sport' programme, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the summer tour to the USA and Japan, and also looked ahead to next month's Rugby World Cup Pool Draw.
Speaking about working with the provinces and monitoring players' progress, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt told RTE Radio 1: "For us, having the best quality of performance within the provinces, getting some really good coaching from the provincial coaches, which we know is happening at the moment, that's the foundation that we need because in the end we get the players in a match week pretty much."
In an interview with RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt confirmed that Girvan Dempsey, Felix Jones and Ronan O'Gara will be incorporated into the coaching group for the upcoming summer tour to the USA and Japan.
IRFU National Talent Development Manager Hendrik Kruger says the Easter age-grade internationals give the Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 players 'the chance to represent their country and experience international rugby' and are 'the highlight of their season'.
The Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools team (sponsored by PwC) played the England U-18 Counties side in the first of two matches at Ashbourne RFC this week. Check out the highlights from Wednesday's entertaining clash.
Four of our stadiums through the eyes of four Irish sporting legends. O'Driscoll on Aviva Stadium, Brogan on Croke Park, Matthews on Kingspan Stadium and O'Connell on Thomond Park. The world is invited #Ireland2023.
Irish Rugby TV caught up with flanker Sean O'Brien to get his reaction following Ireland's hard-earned 13-9 victory over RBS 6 Nations champions England. He singled out man-of-the-match Peter O'Mahony for special praise.
Peter O'Mahony reflects on what went wrong for Ireland in Cardiff and tells Irish Rugby TV that he is focusing on the squad and their work this week ahead of the final Six Nations game against England.
The Ireland squad paid a visit to Monaghan last week and held an open training session in Monaghan RFC. We spoke to Andrew Trimble after the session which was attended by over 2,000 cheering supporters.