Tuesday 22 August 2017

Quartet in running for top Zurich gongs

Munster’s powerful back-row forward CJ Stander. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Munster’s powerful back-row forward CJ Stander. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Conor Murray and CJ Stander have both been nominated for major awards at this year's Zurich Players' Player of the Year Awards, which take place next Wednesday.

The Munster and Ireland duo are in the running for the top award on the night, the Players' Player of the Year award, but there is also plenty of other awards up for grabs for Munster players.

After a season to remember Darren Sweetnam has been nominated for the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year Award, while Murray is also in the running for try of the year for his effort against New Zealand in Ireland's memorable win over the All Blacks in Chicago last November.

Meanwhile, Highfield and Munster's Leah Lyons is one of three players nominated for the BNY Mellon Women's Player of the Year, where she will go head to head with Irish team-mates Paula Fitzpatrick and Lindsay Peat for the honour.

Stander and Murray will fight it out for the top award on the night along with Leinster tighthead Tadhg Furlong and former Connacht centre Robbie Henshaw, all of whom impressed with Ireland in their November and Six Nations games.

According to Chairman of Rugby Players Ireland, Rob Kearney, it is a special achievement to be nominated, considering it is voted on by the professional rugby players of Ireland.

"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," Kearney said.

Sweetnam faces tough opposition in the Nevin Spence award with Leinster and Ireland duo Garry Ringrose and Joey Carbery also nominated.

Irish Independent

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