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Temp Head - ULSTER S Nick Williams has

ULSTER'S Nick Williams has been voted the IRUPA Players' Player of the Year for the season 2012/2013 at the 11th annual awards ceremony last night.

"It is an honour to be recognised with this award, especially as it's voted for by the players," said Williams.

Ireland winger Craig Gilroy earned the VW Try of the Year against Argentina in the Autumn International Series, while Connacht full-back Robbie Henshaw was awarded the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year.

SCOTLAND interim head coach Scott Johnson has confirmed it was his choice to become director of rugby instead of continuing in his current position on a permanent basis.

The Scottish Rugby Union last week announced Johnson was taking on the new role to oversee the development of the game and national teams.

Johnson named his last squad, for the four-team tournament in South Africa next month, and will make way for a new head coach after their return.

But the Australian has been involved in the selection process for his successor and will continue to have a major input into the national team.

But his desire to instigate lasting, meaningful improvement led him to pick the upstairs role.

Johnson, who named nine uncapped players in his squad, said: "It was a decision I made. There were two jobs out there and I could have taken both - I chose this one because I felt it suited me best. It suited where I am in my life.

"It allowed me to still coach in the team. That was important - I didn't want to walk away from the team.

"But I like doing the other stuff as well. I'm here with just my wife and I like working and I like meeting people.

"When you are just the head coach, for a long time of the year there is a lot of down time.

"I like to get my hands dirty and get into things.

"I'd have loved to have done both but it is practically impossible. So I had to have a choice. This is a really happy medium for me."

HIBERNIA COLLEGE IRUPA PLAYERS' PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2013: Nick Williams (Ulster).

NEVIN SPENCE YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2013: Rob Henshaw (Connacht).

VOLKSWAGEN TRY OF YEAR 2013: Craig Gilroy, Ireland v Argentina, Autumn Series.

HIBERNIA COLLEGE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE 2013: Isaac Boss (Leinster).

BNY MELLON IRUPA HALL OF FAME 2013: Denis Hickie (Leinster & Ireland).

O2 UNSUNG HERO 2013: Billy Holland (Munster).

NEWSTALKSUPPORTERS' PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2013: Simon Zebo (Munster).


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