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McGrath Is Honoured As Leinster Players’ Player Of The Year

McGrath Is Honoured As Leinster Players’ Player Of The Year

Leinster players past and present were in attendance at the Mansion House in Dublin for the annual Leinster Rugby Awards Ball which recognises the achievements of those involved in the game at both domestic and professional levels.

Risteard Cooper was MC as Leinster Rugby took the opportunity to say a fond farewell to retiring players Leo Cullen and Brian O’Driscoll, in addition to departing coaches Jono Gibbes and Greg Feek.

Risteard, with the help of Shane Jennings and Shane Horgan, took them all on a magical mystery tour through their time at Leinster.

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Leinster Branch President Paul Deering opened proceedings and congratulated the winners for their outstanding contributions throughout the season, while also reminding everyone that there was still much to play for.

The small matter of a RaboDirect PRO12 semi-final and of course the British & Irish Cup final on Friday, May 23.

Kevin Flynn of Wanderers was the latest inductee into the Leinster Rugby Hall of Fame.

The former Ireland centre, who won 22 caps over three decades and scored five tries including a famous one at Twickenham in 1972, told how they were denied the chance to win an historic Grand Slam when the Scots and Welsh refused to travel due to the Troubles.

Selected domestic awards included NUIM Barnhall winning the Canterbury Senior Club of the Year, Clondalkin winning the BDO Junior Club of the Year and Tullow RFC winning the CityJet Womens Section of the Year.

Old Belvedere, Leinster and Ireland star Sophie Spence won the Donnelly Women’s Senior Player of the Year, while Newbridge College were selected as the Cleaning Contractors School of the Year.

The top two professional awards of the evening went to Martin Moore who was awarded the Best Menswear Young Player of the Year, while Jack McGrath was acknowledged as the Bank of Ireland Players’ Player of the Year.

Moore has had a superb year in the blue of Leinster with 25 caps already to his name and when one considers that he won the Ulster Bank League title with Lansdowne last year, it really has been a meteoric rise.

The young prop’s provincial form was soon rewarded on the international stage and five caps and a Six Nations medal later, the former Castleknock College player has been rightly honoured for his efforts with a Young Player of the Year award.

Like his front row colleague, McGrath has also had a dream season with a man-of-the-match debut performance for Ireland in November quickly followed by further Test caps and of course that Six Nations medal.

The 24-year-old made his Leinster senior debut in April 2010 and continued that season as back-up to Cian Healy and Heinke van der Merwe in their Heineken Cup-winning campaign, but he has progressed since then to play a more prominent role.

Last year McGrath made eight starts for Leinster and he has driven on again this year with 11 starts to date plus an impressive haul of four tries. He is a deserving winner of the province’s Player of the Year award, as voted for by his peers.


Barry Lambkin (Portarlington RFC) – PRO of the Year (sponsored by the Irish Independent)
Wexford CBS – Special Merit School
Tullow RFC – Women’s Section of the Year (sponsored by CityJet)
Sophie Spence – Women’s Senior Player of the Year (sponsored by Donnelly)
Jarrod Bromley – Outstanding Contribution to Leinster Supporters (sponsored by the Herald)
Garda RFC – Special Merit Club
NUIM Barnhall RFC – Senior Club of the Year (sponsored by Canterbury)
Clondalkin RFC – Junior Club of the Year (sponsored by BDO)
Newbridge College – School of the Year (sponsored by Cleaning Contractors)
Navan RFC – Youths Section of the Year (sponsored by RiverRock)
Kevin Flynn – Hall of Fame (sponsored by GUINNESS)
Jimmy Gopperth – Tackle of the Year (sponsored by Conrad Hotel)
Dave Kearney v Ospreys in the RaboDirect PRO12 – Try of the Year (sponsored by the Irish Independent)
Martin Moore – Best Menswear Young Player of the Year
Jack McGrath – Bank of Ireland Players’ Player of the Year