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Leinster’s Night As D’Arcy Scoops Players’ Award

Leinster’s Night As D’Arcy Scoops Players’ Award

Wednesday night proved to be a night to remember for Leinster Rugby as the province swept the board at the fifth annual BT Irish Rugby Union Players Association awards ceremony, with Leinster and Ireland centre Gordon D’Arcy named the 2007 Players’ Player of the Year.

Wexford man D’Arcy, who was such a key figure in Ireland retaining the Triple Crown and running France close for the Six Nations title, walked off with top award to become the first player to ever win the IRUPA award twice.

He got the nod over Munster and Ireland pair John Hayes and David Wallace, and said afterwards: “The season gets better and better for me both personally and for the teams I have played in.

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“This is the top rugby award in Ireland and I am delighted to have won it for the second time. It gives me great pleasure to win this award as it comes from the people I play with and against throughout the season.”

D’Arcy’s provincial and international team-mate Shane Horgan took the Try of the Year award for the second year running, as his memorable score in Ireland’s Six Nations defeat of England at Croke Park was deemed as the best of the past twelve months.

Meanwhile, former Leinster and Ireland back rower Victor Costello was inducted into the IRUPA Hall of Fame, and Leinster utility back Luke Fitzgerald, who made his Ireland debut against the Pacific Islanders in November, collected the Newcomer of the Year award.

For his consistent performances for Leinster in his first season with the province, helping them challenge for the Magners League title, flanker Stephen Keogh picked up the Unsung Hero gong.

Former Wanderers player Garrett Culliton, one of the stars of the Irish wheelchair rugby scene and a bronze medallist in the discus at last year’s World Paralympic Championships, received the Special Merit award.

The ceremony was held at the O’Reilly Hall in UCD and was attended by the likes of Ireland and Lions captain Brian O’Driscoll and his Irish team-mates Paul O’Connell, Marcus Horan, Isaac Boss and Ronan O’Gara.

IRUPA CEO Niall Woods said: “What makes these awards so special is that they are voted for by the players from all four provinces. Congratulations to all those nominated and in particular to Gordon, Stephen, Shane, Luke and my old friend Victor in winning what are the most sought after awards in Irish rugby.”


BT IRUPA Players’ Player of the Year – Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster)
Also Nominated: John Hayes (Munster), David Wallace (Munster)

IRUPA Club Energise Sport Unsung Hero – Stephen Keogh (Leinster)
Also Nominated: John Hayes (Munster), Trevor Hogan (Leinster)

IRUPA Hooke & MacDonald Hall of Fame – Victor Costello (Leinster)

IRUPA Tyrone Crystal Try of the Year – Shane Horgan (Ireland v England)
Also Nominated: Simon Easterby (Ireland v Italy), Stephen Keogh (Leinster v Gloucester)

IRUPA Irish Mortgage Corporation Newcomer of the Year – Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster)
Also Nominated: Stephen Ferris (Ulster), Daniel Riordan (Connacht)

IRUPA Green Giant Special Merit Award – Garrett Culliton (Wheelchair Rugby)