Tuesday 27 June 2017

Aki cleans up at awards night

Bundee Aki picked up three gongs at the Connacht Rugby Awards Gala. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Bundee Aki picked up three gongs at the Connacht Rugby Awards Gala. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Daragh Small

Bundee Aki said he was humbled by the fans and their continued support as he swept the boards in the Connacht Rugby Awards Gala.

He picked up three gongs on the night, as the 26-year-old won Players' Player of the Year, Fans' Player of the Year and Back of the Year.

"To receive an award from the Connacht fans is awesome. Since I arrived here two years ago they have been incredible and we really appreciate their support of the team," Aki said.

Sean O'Brien got the Academy Player of the Year and John Muldoon was the Forward of the Year.

Caolin Blade's try against Ulster was the try of the year, and Ronan Loughney picked up the team man of the year.

This year has been another resounding success for Connacht as the brand continues to grow, and rugby is expands in the wider community with more clubs and participation throughout.

David Robb, Cillian Gallagher and Conan O'Donnell picked up the Connacht U-18, U-19 and U-20 Player of the Year awards.

The Connacht Women's Club Player of the Year went to NUIG's Elizabeth McKeever, and the Women's Player of the Year was Laura Feely.

Jes coach Steve Parkinson claimed the Connacht Coach of the Year and the Club of the Year went to Westport RFC.

Jason Cairns was given the Referee of the Year award. John Davey (Sligo RFC) and Cian de Buitlear (An Gaeltacht RFC) won the outstanding contribution to rugby awards.

Kevin Corcoran (Westport) won the Junior Club Player of the Year and Rory O'Connor (Buccaneers) won the senior equivalent.

Irish Independent

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