Munster's CJ Stander honoured to pick up top award
South African CJ Stander says he is deeply honoured to become the first overseas player to be selected as Munster Player of the Year.
The 25-year old from George on the Western Cape was presented with his award at the annual Munster Rugby Awards, in association with the Irish Independent, at the Maryborough Hotel in Cork today.
Eleven awards were presented at the function, which was attended by over 270 people, including the entire Munster professional squad led by coach Anthony Foley, manager Niall O’Donovan and captain Peter O’Mahony.
Stander, who has picked up five man-of-the-match awards in the Guinness Pro12 this season, said he was thrilled to be selected for the award.
“I just go out to do my best in the red jersey. It is all about the team but it is great to be selected for awards like this. I am deeply honoured, especially when I see those who have previously won this award and the quality of the others, Billy (Holland) and Tommy (O’Donnell), who were nominated this year."
Hooker Duncan Casey won the Young Player of the Year, Jack O’Donoghue won the Academy honour, Ciara Griffin the Women’s award, and former Lions player and coach Noel Murphy was chosen as the Hall of Fame winner.
Referee of the Year is Andy Brace, while Young Munster (senior), Clonmel (junior), Ennis (club youth), and Listowel (club mini) won the club awards, with Bandon Grammar selected as the School of the Year.