Caolin Blade and Orla Dixon have been named the Connacht Rugby Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year for 2022/23.
The pair were announced as the big winners at last night’s annual Connacht Rugby Awards, presented by G-P, in front of nearly 600 guests at the Galmont Hotel in Galway.
Scrum-half Blade won the prestigious Player of the Year award for the first time in his career, with Finlay Bealham (2nd) and Mack Hansen (3rd) completing the top three. Máiread Coyne and Clara Barrett came 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Women’s category.
Meanwhile Niall Murray was voted the Fans’ Player of the Year by the public, while the Academy Player of the Year award went to Hugh Gavin, who was also named U19 Player of the Year.
The evening concluded with Portumna’s Daithí Frawley receiving the Lifetime Contribution to Rugby Award from his former student John Muldoon, who made a surprise attendance to saw a few words about his mentor.
The full list of winners is as follows:
U18 Men’s Player of the Year, sponsored by Sound to Light
Tomás Farthing (Corinthians RFC/Coláiste Creg Mhuire)
U18 Women’s Player of the Year, sponsored by RDJ
Éabha Nic Dhonnacha (Tuam RFC/Oughterard RFC/Corinthians RFC/Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin)
U19 Men’s Player of the Year, sponsored by Grant Thornton
Hugh Gavin (Galwegians RFC/Coláiste Iognáid)
Academy Player of the Year, sponsored by Total Health Pharmacy
Referee of the Year
Coach of the Year
Eddie Walsh (Westport RFC)
Women’s Club Player of the Year
Karly Tierney (Tuam RFC/Oughterard RFC)
Junior Club Player of the Year
Eoghan Coyle (Creggs RFC)
Senior Club Player of the Year
Mark Boyle (Corinthians RFC)
Club of the Year, sponsored by Bank of Ireland
Connacht Rugby Unsung Hero, sponsored by Keystone Lintels
Fergus ‘Gussie’ Farrell
Try of the Year, sponsored by Western Postform
Niall Murray (vs Benetton)
Fans’ Player of the Year, sponsored by Murty Rabbitts
Women’s Player of the Year, sponsored by G-P
Men’s Player of the Year, sponsored by Genesys
Lifetime Contribution to Connacht Rugby, sponsored by Oliver Carty Meats