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Trio In The Running For Munster Player Of The Year Award

Trio In The Running For Munster Player Of The Year Award

The 2015 Munster Rugby Awards, in association with the Irish Independent, will take place at the Maryborough Hotel in Cork on Thursday, April 30. The nominations for Senior Player and Academy Player of the Year have now been finalised.

The Munster Rugby Senior Player of the Year nominees are forwards Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell and CJ Stander, all of whom were nominated by their fellow team-mates.

The shortlist sees O’Donnell in line to win the award for the second time if selected. The other previous winners of the award include James Coughlan, John Hayes, Mick O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Gara, Donnacha Ryan and Conor Murray, who triumphed last year.

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Once again this year, the overall winner will be decided by a public vote. Click here to vote and you could win two tickets to next week’s prestigious awards ceremony.

Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players Jack O’Donoghue, Rory Scannell and Darren Sweetnam have been nominated for the John McCarthy award for Academy Player of the Year.

In total, eleven diverse categories will be honoured at the awards, ranging from Munster Rugby Player of the Year, Women’s Player of the Year, to School and Club of the Year.

If you would like to attend the awards lunch, or find out additional information, please click here.


Billy Holland – In his eight season with the province, Billy has started in 17 of 21 matches this season, consistently alternating between the number 4 and 5 jerseys. With 109 caps to his name, the 29-year-old became the sixth player of the current squad to reach the century mark when running out against Connacht on New Year’s Day at the Sportsground.

The Cork man’s impressive form this season was duly rewarded when he was added to the Ireland RBS 6 Nations squad in February. A month later he scored his third provincial try when touching down against Connacht in the PRO12 at Thomond Park.

Tommy O’Donnell – A former Munster Player of the Year, Tommy has made 17 provincial appearances this season, starting in Munster’s six European Champions Cup pool games. He is in line to become the seventh centurion of the current squad when making his next appearance for the province.

The 27-year-old contributed to his 12-try tally this year when scoring against Sale Sharks at Thomond Park in January. On the international front, the Tipperary back rower made his first RBS 6 Nations start against Italy in February, and marked the occasion by scoring his first Championship try.

CJ Stander – South African back rower CJ is in his third season with the province and has won 55 caps to date. The 25-year-old has started 17 of 21 matches this season, operating at blindside flanker and number 8. His impressive run has seen him score seven tries, and deservedly he has been credited with five man-of-the-match awards. If selected as Munster’s Player of the Year, he will become the first overseas player to win the accolade.