Ulster and Ireland winger Andrew Trimble was tonight voted the Hibernia College IRUPA Players’ Player of the Year by his fellow players at the 12th annual awards ceremony in Dublin.
Andrew Trimble has had an outstanding season for both Ulster and Ireland. He started all of Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations games, scoring three tries along the way.
The prestigious award counts as Andrew’s third IRUPA award overall – he was the Young Player of the Year in 2006 and won the Try of the Year honour in 2010. This latest award comes only days after he was recognised as the Ulster Player of the Year.
Andrew was delighted to receive the IRUPA award, saying: “It is an honour to be recognised with this award, especially as it’s voted for by the players.”
As well as the honour of being Player of the Year, Andrew and all the winners receive a Tissot watch kindly provided by Tissot and Fields Jewellers.
Connacht and Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw was awarded the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year for the second year in succession, marking the first time a player has won back-to-back awards in any category in the 12-year history of the awards.
The VW Try of the Year went to Rob Kearney for his intercept effort against New Zealand during Ireland’s heartbreaking defeat to the All Blacks in November.
Joining Ireland’s heroes in the BNY Mellon IRUPA Hall of Fame was former Ulster and Ireland prop Simon Best.
Munster back rower James Coughlan collected the O2 Unsung Hero award, voted for by the public on the O2 Ireland Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Leinster and Ireland lock Devin Toner was presented with the Newstalk106-108fm Supporters’ Player of the Year as chosen by listeners of ‘Off the Ball’.
Leinster’s Shane Jennings was awarded the Hibernia College Medal for Excellence, which rewards on field effort combined with off-field commitment to the game. Nominees were voted by their peers but were also judged on their contribution to the sport through community involvement, education, work and charitable initiatives.
Three new awards were presented this year. The Boardmatch Contribution to Society was presented to Donncha O’Callaghan in recognition of the significant impact made to society through his work with Unicef.
The inaugural BNY Mellon Women’s Sevens Player of the Year, as voted by members of the Ireland Sevens squad, was presented to Nicole Cronin for her consistent performances during the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series.
In a season of standout performances and memories, members of the public voted Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations title win as the Powerscourt Hotel Rugby Moment of the Year via Twitter. The award was collected by Ireland captain Paul O’Connell and team manager Michael Kearney.
Omar Hassanein, CEO of IRUPA, said: “I am really pleased for Andrew, he has forced his way back into the national team with a bang, and this award is a superb reflection of the stellar season he has enjoyed with Ireland and Ulster.
“Winning an IRUPA award is the highest honour a player can receive in this country, Andrew and all the winners and nominees should be congratulated for the high recognition they have received amongst their peers.”
Dr. Sean Rowland, President and founder of Hibernia College, added: “Hibernia College have formed a very strong relationship with IRUPA, providing scholarship opportunities to players through a combination of flexible online learning approaches and internationally recognised academic programmes.
“It has been an excellent year for Irish rugby and Hibernia College students Andrew Trimble, Michael Swift, TJ Anderson and Tommy Bowe.
“Andrew’s success at the awards highlights the continuing need to design and provide flexible graduate and post-graduate programmes to meet the ever-changing needs of these individuals and their demanding lifestyles.”
2014 HIBERNIA COLLEGE IRUPA PLAYERS’ AWARDS:
HIBERNIA COLLEGE IRUPA PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR –
Winner: Andrew Trimble (Ulster)
Nominations: Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Devin Toner (Leinster) and Andrew Trimble (Ulster)
NEVIN SPENCE YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR –
Winner: Robbie Henshaw (Connacht)
Nominations: Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), Jack McGrath (Leinster) and Jordi Murphy (Leinster)
VOLKSWAGEN TRY OF THE YEAR –
Winner: Rob Kearney (Ireland v New Zealand, GUINNESS Series, November 2013)
Nominations: JJ Hanrahan (Munster v Perpignan away, Heineken Cup), Rob Kearney (Ireland v New Zealand, GUINNESS Series) and Jonathan Sexton (Ireland v France, RBS 6 Nations)
HIBERNIA COLLEGE MEDAL OF EXCELLENCE –
Winner: Shane Jennings (Leinster)
Nominations: Shane Jennings (Leinster), Ronan Loughney (Connacht) and Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster)
BNY MELLON IRUPA HALL OF FAME –
Inducted: Simon Best (Ulster)
O2 UNSUNG HERO –
Winner: James Coughlan (Munster)
Nominations: James Coughlan (Munster), Michael Swift (Connacht) and Roger Wilson (Ulster)
NEWSTALK106-108FM SUPPORTERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR –
Winner: Devin Toner (Leinster)
POWERSCOURT HOTEL MOMENT OF THE YEAR –
Ireland winning the RBS 6 Nations title, as voted by the public on Twitter @PowerscourtHtl #PHMOTY
BNY MELLON WOMEN’S SEVENS PLAYER OF THE YEAR –
Winner: Nicole Cronin
BOARDMATCH IRELAND CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY –
Winner: Donncha O’Callaghan
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