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Nevin Named Ulster Rugby Personality Of The Year

Nevin Named Ulster Rugby Personality Of The Year

Ulster centre Nevin Spence, who was tragically killed in a farming accident last September, was announced as the Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year at the province’s annual awards ceremony on Friday.

Nevin Spence, who was a hugely talented and much loved member of the Ulster squad, died along with his brother Graham and his father Noel.

He represented the province 42 times and was destined for great things. There is little doubt that he would have gone on to play for the Ireland senior team.

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The award citation said: “Nevin’s presence has been with the Ulster rugby squad throughout this season. Although he is no longer here in person, his spirit continues to inspire and motivate each and every member of the squad.”

Ulster winger Andrew Trimble was named both the Bank of Ireland Player of the Year and the Ulster Rugby Supporters Club’s Outstanding Player of the Year.

Trimble has had one of his best seasons in an Ulster jersey. He has scored 12 tries, a personal record for the winger for one campaign and won his 150th cap for the province against Glasgow Warriors.

Iain Henderson was named the BT Young Player of the Year. He has proved himself to be one of the most dynamic forwards in the RaboDirect PRO12. He won his first cap for Ireland during the GUINNESS Series last November and has played a key role in Ulster’s success this term.

Robbie Diack won the Belfast Telegraph award for the Most Improved Ulster Player of the Year. Competition for places in the Ulster back row this season has been high, but in recent months, Diack has been one of the first names on the teamsheet.

He scored vital tries against the Scarlets, Zebre, Leinster and Cardiff Blues and won his 100th cap against Cardiff recently.

Stuart Olding was named the Hughes Insurance Ulster Academy Player of the Year. Just 20-years-old, it has been a remarkable few months for the ex-BRA pupil.

He made his first senior start for the province in February against the Ospreys and has gone on to play ten more times, scoring four tries and winning two man-of-the-match awards.

In other awards, Ballynahinch RFC were named Kukri Sports Club of the Year for a season that has seen the County Down club win Ulster Bank League Division 1B and the Ulster Senior League.

Ashleigh Baxter won the inaugural Women’s Player of Year honour. The Belfast Harlequins player was a member of the historic Ireland team that won the Grand Slam. She is also a member of the Ireland Sevens team bidding to make the Olympics in 2016.

Ballynahinch centre Stuart Morrow won the Ken Goodall award for Outstanding Club Player of the Year. As well as his play with Ballynahinch, he was selected for the second year in a row for the Ireland Club side. He scored a memorable intercept try in the win over England Counties at Temple Hill.

Ross Workman was awarded the Dorrington B Faulkner award for Services to Rugby, sponsored by Perennials RFC. He was described as a man ‘who has truly given a lifetime of service to the sport of rugby football and to the Ulster Branch in particular.’

Campbell College winger Jack Owens was selected as the Danske Bank Schools Player of the Year. Jack was the stand-out schoolboy of the year.

His tries in the final helped his school win the Subsidiary Shield and he was rewarded with a place on the right wing in the Ireland Under-18 Schools team.

Luke Lewis was named the Ulster Youths Player of the Year. Lewis is a great ball-carrying prop forward with tremendous power and strength. He can play on either side of the scrum and was a valuable asset to Ballynahinch this season.