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Gibson-Park And Dalton Chosen As Leinster Players Of The Year

Gibson-Park And Dalton Chosen As Leinster Players Of The Year

Jamison Gibson-Park is presented with the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Men's Player of the Year award by Myles O'Grady of Bank of Ireland, and Leinster Rugby President Billy Murphy ©SPORTSFILE/Harry Murphy

Jamison Gibson-Park and Aoife Dalton were the big winners as they took home the Bank of Ireland Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year awards respectively, at the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball on Saturday evening.

It has been an incredible twelve months for Dalton who picked up the Young Player award at the 2023 event, and has now backed it up a year later with the senior honour after brilliant performances in blue as Leinster regained the Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship title.

Aoife’s Leinster and Ireland team-mate, Christy Haney, accepted the Leinster Player of the Year award on her behalf.

For Gibson-Park, it caps a remarkable few years for the scrum half who has made the Leinster and Ireland number 9 jerseys his own with a string of stunning performances.

Other players celebrating included Joe McCarthy and Aoife Wafer, who were selected as the Laya Healthcare Men’s Young Player of the Year and BearingPoint Women’s Young Player of the Year respectively.

It has been a brilliant few weeks for McCarthy and Wafer who were also recognised at the Rugby Players Ireland Awards, while McCarthy was also announced as the Just Eat Supporters Player of the Year at Friday’s game against Connacht at the RDS Arena.

Wexford youngster Wafer, who only turned 21 in March, was also selected on the Guinness Women’s Six Nations Team of the Championship, having starred for Ireland on their way to qualifying for next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Hosted by Joe Molloy, with musical entertainment provided by Manila Strings, the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball brought the curtain down on the 2023/24 domestic season across the 12 counties of Leinster, while also recognising the efforts of the Men’s and Women’s senior teams.

It also marked the final formal engagement for the province’s outgoing President Billy Murphy. The proud UCD clubman opened proceedings with a fitting tribute to all those that contributed on and off the pitch, and in particular those who had helped him across his twelve months as Branch President.

After that it was over to Molloy to get the evening underway and over the course of the next few hours, the best of the game at all levels in Leinster was celebrated.

Departing players and staff were also acknowledged, with a terrific ovation in particular for the departing trio of Ed Byrne, Ross Molony, and Rhys Ruddock.

Mick Dawson was the latest inductee into the Guinness Hall of Fame. The former Leinster Rugby CEO was warmly received by the audience, in recognition of a stellar 21-plus years at the helm.

Another person to be acknowledged for a stellar contribution to the game of rugby in Leinster was the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee, James McCourt, who received the Energia Contribution to Leinster Rugby award for his tireless efforts.

He was presented with his award, on behalf of Energia, by Leinster’s culture captain, Andrew McCarthy, who was also recognised for his efforts over the season by Leinster co-captains, James Ryan and Garry Ringrose.

Clontarf FC, Seapoint Rugby Club, St Mary’s College, Rathmines, and Coláiste Mhuire CBS, Mullingar, were also honoured with awards in the clubs and schools’ categories.

Jordan Larmour picked up the award for the Bank of Ireland ‘Never Stop Competing’ Tackle of the Year for his try-saving effort in the Investec Champions Cup Final against Toulouse, while Ciarán Frawley’s last-gasp match-winning score away to Connacht was the winner of the Irish Times Try of the Year.

2024 LEINSTER RUGBY AWARDS WINNERS:

Nissan Ireland Development School of the Year: Coláiste Mhuire CBS, Mullingar

Bank of Ireland ‘Never Stop Competing’ Tackle of the Year: Jordan Larmour

Beauchamps School of the Year: St. Mary’s College, Rathmines

Energia Contribution to Leinster Rugby: James McCourt

Irish Times Try of the Year: Ciarán Frawley (v Connacht)

DigitalWell Junior Club of the Year: Seapoint Rugby Club

BDO Senior Club of the Year: Clontarf FC

Just Eat Supporters’ Player of the Year: Joe McCarthy

Guinness Hall of Fame: Mick Dawson

BearingPoint Women’s Young Player of the Year: Aoife Wafer

Laya Healthcare Men’s Young Player of the Year: Joe McCarthy

Bank of Ireland Women’s Player of the Year: Aoife Dalton

Bank of Ireland Men’s Player of the Year: Jamison Gibson-Park