Sunday 21 January 2018

Writers' award for Leinster star

SEAN O'BRIEN scooped the Guinness Irish Rugby Writers' Player Of the Year award last night, to go with the ERC Player of the Year award he picked up last May for helping Leinster claim their second Heineken Cup title.

The Carlow man started all nine of Leinster's Heineken Cup matches, picking up three man-of-the-match awards, and was also first choice for Ireland in the Six Nations, being named man-of-the-match against Italy.


Player of the Year: Sean O'Brien

Club of the Year: Old Belvedere RFC

Dave Guiney Perpetual Award for Team of the Year: Leinster

Tom Rooney Award for Services to Rugby: Alan Lewis

Guinness Hall of Fame: Mick Lane, Ollie Campbell

Women's Player of the Year: Lynne Cantwell

University games

Fiona Doyle celebrated Team Ireland's first swimming heat win in the 100m freestyle at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China.

Although the Limerick native did not capture a spot in the finals, she secured 18th position in the event after finishing with a time of 56.75.

Also swimming were team-mates Karl Burdis, who accomplished a 56.70 in the 100m backstroke, Bethany Carson -- 2:23.20 in the 200 metre individual medleys -- and Niamh O'Sullivan, who ranked 24th in the 400m freestyle with a time of 4:24.41.

Meanwhile, DIT archer John Smith shot 72 arrows to earn 29th position ahead of the Men's Individual Compound head-to-head archery event today.

Smith's placement means that he will meet a 36th-ranked archer from Singapore who finished 20 points behind him.


INJURY-HIT Louk Sorensen was supposed to have retired from the pro tennis circuit last May, but he has still managed to set up a possible tournament showdown against Conor Niland.

Sorensen, plagued by a succession of injury problems over the past few years, yesterday made a shock return to competitive action in the ATP Challenger Tour event in San Sebastian. And the 2010 Australian Open hero, still only 26, didn't look too ring-rusty as he saw off the challenge of French wild card Gianna Mina 6-3 6-4.

Sorensen's win has conjured up the possibility of an intriguing second-round battle in the north Spain clay-court event against his Davis Cup team-mate Niland, if the 196-ranked Limerickman overcomes Spain's 94-ranked Daniel Gimeno-Traver today.

Despite Sorensen's return to the chase for world-ranking points, his father Sean insists that Louk is not planning a full-scale resumption of his pro career. "It's more of a transition stage for Louk between playing professional tennis and getting into coaching and helping to run the tennis centre which we (the Sorensen family) have set up in Stuttgart," he explained.

Irish Independent

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