Jump to main content


Hurley-Langton And Fowley Honoured As Connacht Players Of The Year

Hurley-Langton And Fowley Honoured As Connacht Players Of The Year

Nicole Fowley and Shamus Hurley-Langton are pictured with their Connacht Rugby Player of the Year awards following Saturday night's ceremony in Galway ©INPHO/Andrew Downes

Shamus Hurley-Langton and Nicole Fowley were the big winners at the 2024 Connacht Rugby Awards, presented by Globalization Partners.

Back rower Hurley-Langton and out-half Fowley were honoured as Connacht’s respective Men’s and Women’s Players of the Year for the 2023/24 season, after stellar campaigns for their respective teams.

Hurley-Langton, who signed a new two-year deal with the province in March, has played 20 times so far this season, scoring tries against the Vodacom Bulls, Bordeaux-Bègles, Ulster, and the Dragons.

He is second overall for turnovers won (18) across the BKT United Rugby Championship, heading into round 18, while Fowley captained Connacht with aplomb during the Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship earlier in the season.

The Sligo native turned in a player-of-the-match performance in only their second ever win over Leinster, and kicked 13 points during the campaign. She played for the Clovers in the Celtic Challenge and was back in Six Nations action with Ireland for the first time since 2019.

A total of 17 award winners were recognised across categories in the domestic, player pathway, and senior set-ups, with over 500 people in attendance at Saturday night’s ceremony in Galway’s Galmont Hotel.

Two highlights were the announcement of the late, great Gerry O’Donnell posthumously receiving the Lifetime Contribution to Rugby award, and long-time Connacht Under-18 Women’s team manager Natalie Fox was a very deserving winner of the Unsung Hero award.

Ireland Under-20 international Hugh Gavin was the province’s Academy Player of the Year for a second successive season, while fellow centre, Cathal Forde, beat off stiff competition, including Hurley-Langton, to be crowned the Connacht Fans’ Player of the Year.

Matthew Devine’s superb solo effort against Zebre Parma was acknowledged as the Try of the Year, and two possible Connacht and Ireland stars of the future, Ailish Quinn and Hannah Clarke, won their respective categories as the Under-18 Women’s and Women’s Club Players of the Year.

Galway Corinthians’ recent promotion, as they ended their six-year absence from Energia All-Ireland League Men’s Division 2A, saw Michael Harding honoured as the Coach of the Year, and it was a night to remember for Sligo both at club and schools level.

Sligo Rugby made it back-to-back Club of the Year award wins, their prop Tom Gormley walked away with the Men’s Senior Club Player of the Year gong, and Sligo Grammar School, who had the U-18 Men’s Player of the Year in Diarmaid O’Connell, came out on top as the inaugural School of the Year in the province.


Men’s Under-18 Player of the Year – sponsored by Sound to Light

Winner: Diarmaid O’Connell (Carrick-on-Shannon RFC/Sligo Grammar School)
Nominated: Rory Gavin (Galwegians RFC/Coláiste Iognáid), Seán Walsh (Galway Corinthians RFC/Coláiste Éinde)

Women’s Under-18 Player of the Year – sponsored by RDJ

Winner: Ailish Quinn (Ballina RFC/St. Mary’s Ballina)
Nominated: Jemima Adams-Verling (Creggs RFC/Coláiste Mhuire Ballygar), Sarah Purcell (Creggs RFC/Convent of Mercy Roscommon)

Men’s Under-19 Player of the Year – sponsored by Oliver Carty

Winner: Tom Farthing (Galway Corinthians RFC)
Nominated: Orin Burke (Galway Corinthians RFC), Bobby Power (Galwegians RFC)

Academy Player of the Year – sponsored by Has Integration

Winner: Hugh Gavin
Nominated: Matthew Devine, Finn Treacy

Referee of the Year – sponsored by Heineken

Winner: Siobhán Daly
Nominated: Michael Honan, Cian Hough

Coach of the Year – sponsored by Deloitte

Winner: Michael Harding (Galway Corinthians RFC)
Nominated: Owen Lydon & Norman Tierney (Tuam/Oughterard RFC), Paddy Pearson (Sligo RFC)

Women’s Club Player of the Year – sponsored by VHA

Winner: Hannah Clarke (Tuam/Oughterard RFC)
Nominated: Sarah-Jane Fox (Tuam/Oughterard RFC), Tara McNulty (Westport RFC)

Men’s Junior Club Player of the Year sponsored by Laya

Winner: Fintan Crawley (Ballyhaunis RFC)
Nominated: Dave McDonagh (Connemara RFC), Ian Murphy (Tuam RFC)

Men’s Senior Club Player of the Year – sponsored by Aerogen

Winner: Tom Gormley (Sligo RFC)
Nominated: Ambrose Bamber (Sligo RFC), Jack Winters (Galwegians RFC)

School of the Year – sponsored by GP

Winner: Sligo Grammar School
Nominated: Marist College, Summerhill College

Club of the Year – sponsored by Bank of Ireland

Winner: Sligo Rugby
Nominated: Ballinasloe RFC, Galway Corinthians RFC

Connacht Rugby Unsung Hero

Winner: Natalie Fox

Try of the Year – sponsored by Western Postform

Winner: Matthew Devine (v Zebre Parma)
Nominated: Shayne Bolton (v Bristol Bears), David Hawkshaw (v Leinster), Sean Jansen (v Lyon), Diarmuid Kilgallen (v Glasgow Warriors)

Fans’ Player of the Year – sponsored by Murty Rabbitt’s

Winner: Cathal Forde
Nominated: JJ Hanrahan, Shamus Hurley-Langton, Joe Joyce, Cian Prendergast

Women’s Player of the Year – sponsored by GP

Winner: Nicole Fowley
Nominated: Clara Barrett, Aoibheann Reilly

Men’s Player of the Year – sponsored by Genesys

Winner: Shamus Hurley-Langton
Nominated: Cathal Forde, Cian Prendergast

Lifetime Contribution to Rugby

Winner: Gerry O’Donnell