Ireland's love affair with Ronan O'Gara shows no sign of abating after his peers voted to include him rather than out-half rival Jonny Sexton in the final shake-up for the 2012 IRUPA Player of the Year award, writes David Kelly.
O'Gara has been shortlisted alongside Leinster's Rob Kearney and Ulster's Stephen Ferris for the award, which will be presented at a ceremony in Dublin's Burlington Hotel next month.
Brian O'Driscoll, chairman of IRUPA, said: "Winning an IRUPA award, which is voted for by the players who you play with and against, is the best mark of respect for any rugby player.
"Among the other awards are the IRUPA Nature Valley Young Player of the Year award, contested this year by a feast of talented players including Ulster's Craig Gilroy, Leinster's Ian Madigan and Peter O'Mahony from Munster.
Gilroy is also nominated for the IRUPA Volkswagen Try of the Year for his score against Munster in the Heineken Cup.