Ireland centre Gordon D’Arcy was named as Leinster Rugby Professional Player of the Year at the province’s annual awards lunch in Dublin today.
Just this week D’Arcy was confirmed as Leinster’s Player of the Month for April/May and his latest award win adds to the Player of the Year accolade bestowed upon him at the recent Irish Rugby Union Players Association Awards night.
Commenting his Leinster Player of the Year success, his second such award since 2004, the Wexford man said: “It’s great to get any award, and it’s especially nice to get an award playing with such a high calibre of players as we have here in Leinster.
“I’ve enjoyed some good moments over the last year. Beating Munster and Ulster in front of record attendances at Lansdowne Road were special. Donnybrook and Lansdowne Road have been two great stadiums and the opportunity to play there in the final games before their redevelopment is something for the guys who played in the last games to look back at and cherish in years to come.
“Given the way that we’ve played for the majority of the season, and some of the tries we’ve scored, I think we’re really getting to grips with the brand of rugby that the coaches are trying to implement and I genuinely believe the future bodes well for the province.”
The awards lunch, held at the Conrad Hotel, saw former Leinster and Ireland prop Philip Orr inducted into the Kenilworth Motors Hall of Fame for his services to Leinster rugby, and world-renowned scrum coach Roly Meates also received a special presentation on his retirement from the Leinster Branch.
Luke Fitzgerald, who made his Ireland debut last November and received a call-up this week for the summer tour to Argentina, claimed the Powerade Newcomer of the Year award after his meteoric rise from Schools rugby.
The RE/MAX Leinster League Player of the Year award went to Seapoint full-back Felix Jones, who replaced the injured Fitzgerald in the Ireland Under-20 side in February and went on to help the Irish to an unprecedented Grand Slam.
Sinead Ryan, Navan’s Ireland-capped flanker who featured at the Women’s World Cup and throughout the Women’s Six Nations championship this season, was announced as the Leinster Ladies Player of the Year, while St. Michael’s College capped a memorable year for the Dublin 4 school by picking up the Powerade Leinster School of the Year award.
Leinster Branch President Rory Barry-Duke also presented retiring prop Reggie Corrigan, who became Leinster’s most-capped player this season, with a Special Merit award.