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IRFU Congratulates Ireland’s World Rugby Award Winners

IRFU Congratulates Ireland’s World Rugby Award Winners

IRFU Congratulates Ireland’s World Rugby Award Winners

Josh van der Flier is pictured with the World Rugby Men's 15s Player of the Year award in Monaco ©World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

The Irish Rugby Football Union has congratulated its winners following the World Rugby Awards which were held in Monaco last night.

There was individual success on the night for Leinster and Ireland flanker Josh van der Flier, who became only the third Irishman to be named the World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year after Keith Wood (in 2001) and Jonathan Sexton (2018).

The 29-year-old Wicklow man capped a fine individual year having also been crowned the EPCR European Player of the Year, Leinster Rugby Players’ Player of the Year, Rugby Players Ireland Players’ Player of the Year and Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Player of the Year in 2022.

In addition to lifting the Men’s 15s top prize, van der Flier also joined his captain Sexton, Tadhg Beirne and Tadhg Furlong in being selected for the World Rugby Men’s 15’s Dream Team of the Year.

Terry Kennedy, meanwhile, became the first Ireland player to win the World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year award after playing a leading role across the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in 2021/22.

The 26-year-old Dubliner was the Men’s World Series top try scorer with an incredible 50 tries as Ireland won a World Series silver in Toulouse last May and then claimed a memorable bronze medal at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town in September.

IRFU Chief Executive Kevin Potts said: “On behalf of the IRFU, I would like to extend my congratulations to Josh van der Flier and Terry Kennedy on their World Rugby Men’s 1s5 and Men’s Sevens Player of the Year awards, respectively, which reflect the high esteem which the wider rugby community holds their efforts over the course of the year.

“Both Josh and Terry are deserving winners for their consistency of performance over the course of the last 12 months, and we are all incredibly proud of their efforts.

“I am also delighted that Tadhg Beirne, Tadhg Furlong, Johnny Sexton and Josh were selected in the Men’s 15s Dream Team after helping to guide Ireland to the number one team ranking.

“This recognition by World Rugby is due credit for the players themselves, their families, team-mates and the coaching, medical and support staff who all help to foster such positive environments for our players across the island.

“I also hope that each of our strong contingent of award nominees across the categories savour their recognition amongst such a talented and illustrious list of contenders from around the world.

“It has been a memorable year for Irish Rugby, and as we look back with pride, we also look forward continuing to drive all levels of our game forward with optimism in 2023.”

In all, Irish Rugby received a total of eight nominations across Men’s and Women’s 15s and Sevens, reflecting an impressive year for Irish Rugby. The nominees were in full:

  • Men’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year: Mack Hansen and Dan Sheehan
  • World Rugby Coach of the Year: Andy Farrell
  • Women’s Try of the Year: Linda Djougang (v Wales on March 26)
  • Women’s Sevens Player of the Year: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe
  • Men’s Sevens Player of the Year: Terry Kennedy
  • Men’s 15s Player of the Year: Jonathan Sexton and Josh van der Flier