O'Connell, Murray, Sexton and Henshaw to battle it out for IRUPA Player of the Year
Four members of Ireland's victorious Six Nations winning squad have been nominated for the Hibernia College IRUPA Players’ Player of the Year for 2015.
Irish captain Paul O'Connell is joined by the half-back partnership of Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton as well as centre Robbie Henshaw who made a significant contribution on his first Six Nations campaign.
The Connacht star is also nominated for the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year award and is bidding to win the accolade for the third successive year.
The nominees were chosen for performances across the Autumn Series and Six Nations victories. It is the first year that four players have been nominated for the top award.
The Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year is contested by a host of talented young players; Leinster have two representatives in Jack Conan and Jack McGrath, along with the aforementioned Henshaw.
The Volkswagen Try of the Year includes a superb effort by two time winner Craig Gilroy for his try for Ulster against the Scarlets. Robbie Henshaw’s try in Ireland’s win over England in the RBS Six Nations was also nominated along with a supreme piece of individual skill by Connacht scrum half Kieran Marmion for his try against Leinster in the Pro12.
IRUPA Board Member and Player of the Year 2014 Andrew Trimble paid tribute to the nominees.
“To be nominated for an IRUPA Award is such a fantastic achievement, it really is a great honour to be recognised by your fellow players," he said. "I would like to congratulate all the nominees and wish them the best and hope they enjoy the night”.
The Hibernia College Medal for Excellence will be awarded to the individual who demonstrates exceptional commitment to the game both on and off field. This is a player who matches their playing and training with team support, studies, work, mentoring, charity and community involvement. Players across the Provinces voted for Ulster’s Chris Henry, Munster’s Felix Jones and Connacht stalwart Michael Swift.
Ulster’s Callum Black, Leinster winger, Darragh Fanning and Denis Hurley of Munster have been shortlisted for the IRUPA 3 Unsung Hero Award. Now thanks to Three you can have your say and vote for your favourite on Twitter @ThreeIrlRugby using the hashtag #3UnsungHero. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony.