Today, James Ryan and Jack Carty were on hand to announce the nominees for the 2019 Zurich Players’ Player of the Year Award. The Zurich Irish Rugby Players Awards, one of the biggest nights in Irish sport, will take place on Wednesday, 15th May, at the Clayton Hotel in Ballsbridge.
 
In contention for the much sought-after Zurich Players’ Player of the Year Award are four Irish internationals who have all excelled for their country and respective provinces this season. Still only 22, James Ryan cemented his reputation as one of the best second-row players in the world with a series of outstanding performances for both Leinster Rugby and Ireland this season. Ryan is joined on the shortlist by Munster Rugby teammates Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Beirne. O’Mahony, who was named man of the match in Ireland’s historic Test victory over the All Blacks in Dublin last November, has been instrumental in leading Munster Rugby this season as captain to a third consecutive Heineken Cup semi-final. Tadhg Beirne has also been nominated following a stellar season for Munster Rugby that saw him earn his first cap for Ireland. Jack Carty completes the nominees having become Connacht Rugby’s record points scorer in addition to making his international debut against Italy last February.
 
Commenting on the announcement marking Zurich’s fourth year sponsoring the Zurich Rugby Players Ireland Awards Anthony Brennan, CEO, Zurich Ireland said:
 
“Zurich has been a long-term supporter of Irish rugby at grass roots and national level, and we are delighted to see this wonderful sport that bridges all borders and backgrounds go from strength to strength each year. It’s been a fascinating year for Irish rugby with plenty of the highs and lows that make this such an entertaining sport. Having beaten the All Blacks on home turf, and with Leinster still vying for Champions Cup glory, we have many great moments to celebrate at this year’s awards. We’re especially excited about recognising and showcasing off-field achievements where our Life MD, David O’Dowd, will present the Zurich Contribution to Irish Society Award.”
 
Nominee for the 2019 Zurich Players’ Player of the Year Award, Irish international rugby player James Ryan, added: “It’s an honour to be nominated by my fellow players for the 2019 Zurich Players’ Player of the Year Award. Pete, Tadgh and Jack have all enjoyed excellent campaigns and it has been a pleasure to share time with them in Irish camp. We have had some fantastic moments this year including that unforgettable win over the All Blacks in Dublin, but we have also learned many lessons along the way. It’s important to recognise and celebrate achievement but we’re also looking forward to some important games in our season still to come.”
 
It has been a memorable year for Ryan who has also been nominated for the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year Award. As with last year, he joins Jordan Larmour (Leinster) and Jacob Stockdale (Ulster) on the shortlist. Alongside Keith Earls, Larmour and Stockdale also supply some outstanding efforts to contest the Volkswagen Try of the Year Award.
 
It has been a competitive year for the Irish Women’s XV who have displayed some valiant team performances, however, there were several standout performers who have duly come into contention for the BNY Mellon Women’s XV Player of the Year 2019 as voted by the players involved over the last 12 months: Anna Caplice, Eimear Considine and Ciara Griffin. The iZest Women’s 7s Player of the Year will also be awarded on the night, with previous winners Lucy Mulhall (2018) and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (2016 & 2017) included on the shortlist alongside Louise Galvin. A new award will also see the AIB Men’s 7s Player of the Year recognised. Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy and Adam Leavy are this year’s nominees with some stand out performances leading to Ireland’s qualification to the World Series.
 
The Vodafone Medal for Excellence will be awarded to the individual who has shown exceptional commitment to the game of rugby both on and off the field. Nominated by their peers this year are Darren Cave (Ulster), Rhys Ruddock (Leinster) and James Tracy (Leinster).
 
Members of the public are also encouraged to get involved by nominating their Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort Moment of the Year 2019 via Twitter @druidsglen, using #DruidsMoment19. Rugby fans across Ireland can also choose the Virgin Media Sport Supporters’ Player of the Year 2019 which has been running across Virgin Media Sport’s coverage of the Champions Cup.
 
ZURICH PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2019
Tadhg Beirne – Munster
Jack Carty – Connacht
Peter O’Mahony – Munster
James Ryan – Leinster
 
NEVIN SPENCE YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2019
Jordan Larmour -Leinster
James Ryan – Leinster
Jacob Stockdale – Ulster
 
VOLKSWAGEN TRY OF YEAR 2019
Keith Earls – Ireland v France – Guinness Six Nations
Jordan Larmour – Ireland v Italy #3 – The Rugby Weekend, Chicago
Jacob Stockdale – Ireland v New Zealand – Guinness November Series
 
THE VIRGIN MEDIA SUPPORTERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2019
Will Addison – Ulster
Tadhg Beirne- Munster
Jack Carty – Connacht
Cian Healy – Leinster
James Lowe – Leinster
James Ryan – Leinster
 
BNY MELLON WOMEN’S XVs PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2019
Anna Caplice
Eimear Considine
Ciara Griffin
 
DRUIDS GLEN HOTEL & GOLF RESORT MOMENT OF THE YEAR 2019
Voted by the public on Twitter using #DruidsMoment19, the Rugby Moment of the Year will be unveiled at the Awards ceremony on Wednesday 15th May 2019.
 
VODAFONE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE 2019
Darren Cave Ulster
Rhys Ruddock Leinster
James Tracy Leinster
 
WOMEN’S 7S PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2019
Louise Galvin
Lucy Mulhall
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe
 
AIB MEN’S 7s PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2019
Jordan Conroy
Terry Kennedy
Adam Leavy

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