The Rugby Players Ireland Awards took place on Wednesday evening with Connacht players Ronan Loughney and Jake Heenan both honoured on the night.

Ronan, a member of the Rugby Players Ireland Executive Board, was awarded the Medal for Excellence, which rewards on-field effort combined with off-field commitment to the game. The Galway man will finish with Connacht Rugby this summer after 12 seasons as a professional player. He was a member of the first academy squad assembled in the province and went on to play 191 games across the PRO12 and Europe competitions.

The Contribution to Irish Society award was presented to both Heenan and Hannah Tyrrell in recognition of their work in their respective communities.  After four years at Connacht, Jake continues to set an example on and off the pitch as a member of the senior squad. This season, he bravely told his story of facing adversity and the importance of talking to people in a nationwide awareness campaign known as Tackle Your Feelings with Rugby Players Ireland.

Jake gives a lot of his time supporting local charities and is closely involved as a volunteer with Dóchas don Óige – a provider of services for young people in the Galway city area.

2017 Rugby Players Ireland Awards – Winners

Women’s 7s Player of the Year – Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe
Medal for Excellence – Ronan Loughney
Moment of the Year – ‘One Day in Chicago’ – Ireland defeat New Zealand at Soldier Field
Supporters’ Player of the Year – Tadhg Furlong
Women’s XVs Player of the Year – Lindsay Peat
Contribution to Irish Society – Jake Heenan & Hannah Tyrrell
Try of the Year – Robbie Henshaw (v New Zealand, at Soldier Field, Chicago)
Hall of Fame – Geordan Murphy
Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year – Garry Ringrose
Players’ Player of the Year – Conor Murray

To find out more about Rugby Players Ireland, visit their website at rugbyplayersireland.ie.

Connacht back Tiernan O’Halloran was voted the Connacht Rugby Players’ Player of the Year by his fellow team mates and received the accolade at the annual Connacht Rugby Awards Ball in Galway on Sunday night.

26-year-old O’Halloran has had a phenomenal season as a leader in Connacht’s young back line. The Clifden man has featured in 24 games for the province this season, starting all but one. In the Guinness PRO12, he holds the record for the most carries and the most metres made this season. He earned his third international cap against Canada in the 2016 November Series, touching down for a brace of tries in the Aviva Stadium win.

O’Halloran was up to the stage for a second time on Sunday night to pick up the award for Back of the Year while Connacht captain John Muldoon, who this season celebrated his 300th cap for the province, was the deserved recipient of Forward of the Year for the second year in a row.

Ballina RFC were awarded the Connacht Club of the Year following an outstanding season of success and development across every aspect of the Mayo club from regenerating the facilities at Heffernan Park to a thriving schools and competitive youths’ programme.

Their remarkable success underpins the senior men’s team who, as well as winning the Cawley Cup, claimed a first Connacht Junior League title in 32 years.

Chris Davies was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Rugby award for his commitment to schools rugby in Connacht over the past decade. He steps away from the role as Chairman of the Schools Committee having played a massive part in the development of schools rugby with the number of games played tripling in recent years.

Awards Winners

CONNACHT U18 PLAYER OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Top Oil
Niall Murray

CONNACHT U19 PLAYER OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Edward Holdings
Sean Masterson

CONNACHT U18 GIRLS PLAYER OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Mongey Communications
Sarah Dent

CONNACHT WOMEN’S CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Eventus
Emma Clery, Galwegians RFC

CONNACHT WOMEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR, sponsored by My Club Finances
Grainne Egan

CONNACHT COACH OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Deloitte
Brett Wilkinson, Buccaneers RFC

CONNACHT CLUB OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Ulster Bank
Ballina RFC

CONNACHT REFEREE OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Golden Eye Security
Karol Collins

CONNACHT JUNIOR CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Radisson Blu Hotel
John O’Brien, Connemara RFC

CONNACHT SENIOR CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Keller Travel
Jordan Conroy, Buccaneers RFC

OUTSANDING CONTRIBUTION TO RUGBY, sponsored by AIB
Chris Davies

CONNACHT ACADEMY PLAYER OF THE YEAR, Sponsored by RDJ
Conor McKeon

CONNACHT RUGBY FORWARD OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Heineken
John Muldoon

CONNACHT RUGBY BACK OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Deep RiverRock
Tiernan O’Halloran

CONNACHT RUGBY TRY OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Irish Independent
James Connolly, Connacht v Ulster

CONNACHT RUGBY TEAM MAN OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Mazda
Jake Heenan

CONNACHT RUGBY PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Bank of Ireland
Tiernan O’Halloran

 

Connacht Rugby has today unveiled the nominations for the annual end-of-season Awards Ball, taking place this year on April 30th at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway.

18 awards will be given out at the ceremony celebrating the season’s achievements at all levels of the game – underage, club, schools, womens and the professional squad.

The Players’ Player as voted by the Connacht senior squad will be awarded on the night as well as the Team Man of the Year, Try of the Year and an award for Outstanding Contribution to Rugby.

The nominees are….

CONNACHT U18 PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Cian Huxford
Hugh Lane
Niall Murray

CONNACHT U19 PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Brian Diffney
Rory Gaffney
Sean Masterson

CONNACHT U18 GIRLS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Sarah Dent
Ellie Dillane
Elizabeth McNicholas

CONNACHT REFEREE OF THE YEAR

Karol Collins
Brian Deighan
Daithi Flood

CONNACHT COACH OF THE YEAR

Patrick Durcan, Castlebar RFC
David Newman, Ballina RFC
Brett Wilkinson, Buccaneers RFC

CONNACHT WOMEN’S CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Emma Clery, Galwegians RFC
Shannen Lane, NUIG RFC
Anne Marie O’Hora, Castelbar RFC

CONNACHT WOMEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Grainne Egan
Ciara O’Connor
Anne Marie O’Hora

CONNACHT JUNIOR CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Dan McCabe, Monivea RFC
Mickey Murphy, Ballina RFC
John O’Brien, Connemara RFC

CONNACHT SENIOR CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jordan Conroy, Buccaneers RFC
Lise Soloa, Corinthians RFC
Michael Wells, Sligo RFC

CONNACHT CLUB OF THE YEAR

Ballina RFC
Buccaneers RFC
Sligo RFC

CONNACHT RUGBY ACADEMY PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Cormac Brennan
Marc Kelly
Conor McKeon

CONNACHT RUGBY FORWARD OF THE YEAR

Andrew Browne
Jake Heenan
John Muldoon

CONNACHT RUGBY BACK OF THE YEAR

Jack Carty
Kieran Marmion
Tiernan O’Halloran

 

Saturday 16th May is a huge day in the Connacht Rugby calendar.

At 3pm, there will be a Sportsground Spectacular. A massive game against Ospreys and the final chance for Pat Lam’s men to make next seasons’s Champions Cup. Get your ticket today to see this crucial clash.

That evening, mingle with the players, backroom staff, club members and friends of Connacht Rugby for the 2015 Awards Night, taking place from 7.30pm at the Radisson Galway. This will be the greatest social event of the rugby season in Connacht and we invite all Connacht Rugby supporters to join us. Tickets are €90 and you’ll enjoy a drinks reception, dinner, awards ceremony and dancing ’til late with Galway band, The Pyramids.

Call Eoin on 091 561 568 to buy your ticket to this great black-tie bash!

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