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Lions Quartet Nominated For Rugby Players Ireland’s Top Award

Lions Quartet Nominated For Rugby Players Ireland’s Top Award

Rugby Players Ireland has today announced the nominees for the 2017 Zurich Players’ Player of the Year award, with Tadhg Furlong, Robbie Henshaw, Conor Murray and CJ Stander battling it out for the top honour.

This year’s Rugby Players Ireland Awards night will be hosted by former Ireland International Shane Horgan at the Clayton Hotel on Burlington Road on Wednesday, May 10. The Rugby Players Ireland Awards is the only event of its kind in Ireland and one of the biggest nights in Irish sport.
 
In the running to claim the much-sought after Zurich Players’ Player of the Year award are four players that have excelled for both their province and country, with each nominee set to travel with the British & Irish Lions this summer.

Tadhg Furlong has had a breakthrough season to remember, leaving many would-be defenders in his wake and securing a cult status among Ireland fans. Conor Murray has had a scintillating season for both Munster and Ireland, with the scrum half now firmly considered to be among the best operators in the position in the world.

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Robbie Henshaw is nominated for the second year in succession as he continues to grow in influence for both province and country, while last year’s winner, CJ Stander, is again acknowledged for his insatiable appetite for work and hard yards.


 
Commenting on the awards, Rob Kearney, a recipient of the Players’ Player of the Year award in 2012 and current Chairman of Rugby Players Ireland, said: “To be nominated for the Players’ Player of the Year award is such a fantastic achievement especially when it is voted for by your fellow players. It brings a great deal of satisfaction that your colleagues appreciate your work and efforts. I would like to congratulate all the nominees, wish them the best and hope that they enjoy the night.”
 
Also commenting on the announcement was Anthony Brennan of Zurich, who added: “Yet again, an array of some of the best rugby talent in the world stand to join a distinguished list of past winners. We are delighted to support the tremendous work of these players and in the wider Irish rugby sense, by recognising top class performances at the award.

“Their respective efforts have been a source of great pride for us all at Zurich, given our connection to the game through Rugby Players Ireland.”
 
The evening will honour a season that has seen the Irish provincial sides feature prominently in both domestic and European competition, while the national team also claimed victories over South Africa, New Zealand and Australia before rounding up the season with a second-place finish in the Six Nations.
 
A trio of talented young players, Joey Carbery, Garry Ringrose and Darren Sweetnam, will contest the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year award, and three iconic try efforts have been shortlisted for the Volkswagen Try of the Year.


 
Following a strong showing in the Six Nations, several players have come into contention for the BNY Mellon Women’s 15s Player of the Year award as voted for by the players involved over the last season. The Mason Alexander Women’s Sevens Player of the Year will also be awarded on the night.
 
The induction of the new member of the BNY Mellon Hall of Fame will take place on the night along with the announcement of the winner of the Zurich Contribution to Irish Society award, which honours a current or past player who has taken an active role in making a difference to the wider community.
 
The Vodafone Medal for Excellence will be presented to the individual who demonstrates exceptional commitment to the game both on and off field. This is a player who matches their playing and training with team support, studies, part-time work, mentoring, charity and community involvement. Nominated by their peers are Ronan Loughney of Connacht, Leinster’s Jack McGrath and Ulster’s Ruan Pienaar.


 
There will also be the chance for members of the public to get involved by nominating their Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort Moment of the Year for 2017 via Twitter @druidsglen using the hashtag #DruidsMoment17. Rugby fans across Ireland have been choosing their Irish Times Supporters’ Player of the Year via the Irish Times website.

2017 RUGBY PLAYERS IRELAND – AWARD NOMINATIONS:
 
ZURICH PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR –

Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster)
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster)

 
NEVIN SPENCE YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR –

Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster)
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster)
Darren Sweetnam (Cork Constitution/Munster)

 
BNY MELLON RUGBY PLAYERS IRELAND HALL OF FAME –
Recipient to be announced in advance of the awards night
 
VOLKSWAGEN TRY OF YEAR –

Craig Gilroy (Ireland v Italy, RBS 6 Nations)
Robbie Henshaw (Ireland v New Zealand, November Test)
Conor Murray (Ireland v New Zealand, November Test)

 
IRISH TIMES SUPPORTERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR –
Vote for the winner online on the Irish Times website
 
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster)
Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster)
John Muldoon (Galwegians/Connacht)
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Tiernan O’Halloran (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Charles Piutau (Ulster)
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster)

 
ZURICH CONTRIBUTION TO IRISH SOCIETY –
The award will be presented at the ceremony on Wednesday, May 10
 
BNY MELLON WOMEN’S 15s PLAYER OF THE YEAR –

Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s/Leinster)
Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster)
Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)


 
DRUIDS GLEN HOTEL & GOLF RESORT MOMENT OF THE YEAR –
Voted by the public on Twitter @druidsglen (#DruidsMoment17), the Rugby Moment of the Year will be unveiled at the ceremony on Wednesday, May 10
 
VODAFONE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE –

Ronan Loughney (Galwegians/Connacht)
Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s/Leinster)
Ruan Pienaar (Ulster)

MASON ALEXANDER WOMEN’S SEVENS PLAYER OF THE YEAR –

Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Megan Williams (St. Mary’s)