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Club Rugby’s Finest Battle It Out For Top Honours

Club Rugby’s Finest Battle It Out For Top Honours

Ireland’s finest club rugby stars will line out next Thursday (May 14) in the home of Irish rugby, the Aviva Stadium, as the Ulster Bank League Awards return for a third successive year.

The Ulster Bank League Awards, which recognise and celebrate the dedication and commitment shown by players, coaches and teams, across all Ulster Bank League divisions, will once again be presented by Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt.
 
Introduced in the 2012/2013 season, the awards have become an established event in the rugby calendar with a selection of winners and nominees from the past two years even making the transfer to professional rugby, including Craig Ronaldson, Jack Conan and Mick McGrath.
 
This year Division 1A has been a tight contest with many players demonstrating the outstanding talent and skill that is present in club rugby in Ireland. Some names to grace the shortlist for Division 1A awards include Matt D’Arcy (Clontarf), Tomás Quinlan (Cork Constitution) and Kyle McCoy (Terenure College), while table toppers Lansdowne lead the way with Aaron Conneely, Cian Kelleher and Tom Farrell all nominated across different categories.
 
Ulster Bank, Official Community Rugby Partner to the IRFU, this year introduced two new categories to the annual awards with 11 categories in total being awarded next week –
 
Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 1A
Ulster Bank Top Try Scorer – Division 1A
Ulster Bank Top Points Scorer – Division 1A
Ulster Bank Rising Star Award – Division 1A (Shortlist compiled from player chosen monthly)
Ulster Bank Coach of the Year – Division 1A
Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 1B
Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 2A
Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 2B
Ulster Bank PRO of the Year
Ulster Bank Provincial Player of the Year – Across all divisions
Ulster Bank Team of the Year – Across all divisions

 
Speaking ahead of the Ulster Bank League Awards, Ulster Bank rugby ambassador, Alan Quinlan, said: “It has been another exciting year in the Ulster Bank League and all those nominated for the awards should be immensely proud of themselves as there is tough competition in each category.

“These players have demonstrated why club rugby is so important across all divisions, from those in Division 1A who are pushing for spots in provincial teams to Division 2B with players who dedicate a huge amount for their local club. Supporting these players, and recognising and rewarding their talent, is vital for both the development of Irish rugby and Ireland’s club players.”
 
The Ulster Bank League Awards take place next Thursday in the Aviva Stadium. For more information, please go to www.facebook.com/ulsterbankrugby.

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ULSTER BANK LEAGUE AWARDS SHORTLIST:        
 
Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 1A
Nominees: Aaron Conneely (Lansdowne), Matt D’Arcy (Clontarf), Kyle McCoy (Terenure College)
 
Ulster Bank Coach of the Year – Division 1A
Nominees: John Staunton (Young Munster), James Blaney (Terenure), Bobby Byrne (UCD)

Ulster Bank Rising Star Award – Division 1A
Nominees: Cian Kelleher (Lansdowne), Tom Farrell (Lansdowne), Rory Scannell (Dolphin), Tomás Quinlan (Cork Constitution), Ross Adair (Ballynahinch)
 
Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 1B
Nominees: John Cleary (Galwegians), Sean Taylor (Ballymena), Ed Rossiter (Garryowen)
 
Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 2A
Nominees: Sean Coughlan (Blackrock College), Ross McAuley (Skerries), Ian Cassidy (Old Wesley)

Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 2B
Nominees: Paul Stack (Highfield), Christy Condon (Midleton), Neil Faloon (Armagh)
 
Ulster Bank Team of the Year – Across all UBL divisions
Winner announced on the night
 
Ulster Bank PRO of the Year
Nominees: Cian O’Higgins (Seapoint), Thomas O’Brien (Old Wesley), Ryan Clarke and Keelan Durnien (Queen’s University Belfast)
 
Ulster Bank Provincial Player of the Year – Across all divisions (Public vote)

Connacht Nominees
John Cleary (Galwegians)
James Wilson (Sligo)
Diarmuid Higgins (Buccaneers)
Marc Kelly (Corinthians)

Leinster Nominees
Alan Large (Old Wesley)
Brian du Toit (Dublin University)
Ciaran Ruddock (St. Mary’s College)
James O’Neill (Terenure College)

Munster Nominees
John Ed O’Connor (Cashel)
Fintan O’Sullivan (Highfield)
Ed Rossiter (Garryowen)
Ger Slattery (Young Munster)

Ulster Nominees
Neil Faloon (Armagh)
Frankie Taggart (Belfast Harlequins)
Sean Taylor (Ballymena)
Ross Adair (Ballynahinch)