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Williams nails awards double

Ulster back-row Nick Williams completed a quick-fire awards double last night by adding the Hibernia College IRUPA Players' Player of the Year gong to his Pro12 crown.

The Kiwi joins Isa Nacewa (2012) as the only other overseas player to be recognised by his peers during the 11 years of the awards.

"It is an honour to be recognised with this award, especially as it's voted for by the players," said Williams, who pipped fellow nominees Cian Healy of Leinster and Munster's Simon Zebo.

Ulster team-mate and Ireland winger Craig Gilroy won the Try of the Year for his scintillating score for Ireland against Argentina in the autumn international series.

Connacht's Robbie Henshaw was also among those honoured. He won the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year award, beating Ireland internationals Ian Madigan and Luke Marshall in the process.

Munster's Billy Holland collected the Unsung Hero Award, voted for by the public on social media sites.

Simon Zebo was presented with the Supporters Player of the Year as chosen by listeners of Newstalk's 'Off the Ball'.

Leinster's Isaac Boss was awarded the Hibernia College Medal for Excellence, which rewards on-field effort combined with off-field commitment to the game.

Former Ireland winger Denis Hickie was inducted into the hall of fame.

Details in factfile

Irish Independent