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.
From Schools, Youth, Club and Professional levels, the Awards recognises the role that they all play for the development of the game.
"The Awards are the highlight of the rugby season and it is fitting that they recognise all aspects of the game, both on and off the pitch," said Terry Loughins of Diageo Northern Ireland. "Guinness and rugby are synonymous with one another, not only in Ireland but with rugby supporters and players across the globe and here in Northern Ireland we are proud of our relationship with Ulster Rugby and look forward to the continuation of our sponsorship of the Awards for many years to come."
The coveted top award, the Guinness Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year is awarded 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. Last year the Guinness Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year went to Ulster lock Justin Harrison.
The nominees for the 2006/07 awards as are follows:
CALOR GAS YOUTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR - David McGregor (Monaghan), David McIlwaine (Larne), Michael Cromie (Banbridge)
NORTHERN BANK LTD SCHOOLS PLAYER OF THE YEAR - James Sandford (Royal School Armagh), Tommy Seymour (Down High School), Paul Smith (Ballymena Academy)
KUKRI CLUB OF THE YEAR - Dungannon, Ballynahinch, Clogher Valley
PERENNIALS DORRINGTON B. FAULKNER, "UNSUNG HERO" AWARD - Walter Lindsay (Civil Service), Derek Moore (Ballyclare), Ross Workman (Omagh)
FIRST TRUST BANK CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Jordan Millar (Ards), Paul Magee (Dungannon), Chris McCarey (Belfast Harlequins)
BELFAST TELEGRAPH MERIT AWARD - to be announced on May 17
BANK OF IRELAND ULSTER PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Roger Wilson, Rory Best, Isaac Boss
VODAFONE YOUNG ULSTER PLAYER OF THE YEAR- Stephen Ferris, Paul McKenzie, David Pollock
CITY OF DERRY - KEN GOODALL AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING PLAYER AT THE SPORTS INSTITUTE - David Pollock, Darren Cave, Thomas Anderson
GUINNESS ULSTER RUGBY PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR - to be announced on May 17