Nominees Unveiled for Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Awards…

The shortlist for the 2023 Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Men’s 15s Player of the Year award includes notable figures such as Grand Slam winners and Champions Cup finalists Caelan Doris, Hugo Keenan, Jonathan Sexton, and Andrew Porter, along with World Rugby Player of the Year nominee Bundee Aki.

In a testament to resilience and determination, nominees for the Women’s 15s Player of the Year honor include Sam Monaghan, current co-captain of Ireland, former captain Nichola Fryday, last year’s awardee Neve Jones, and Old Belvedere club-mates Deirbhile Nic a Bháird and Aoife Dalton.

The prestigious Dave Guiney Team of the Year accolade sees nominations for the Ireland Men’s 15s team, Munster Men, Ireland Under-20s, and both the Ireland Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams. The Ireland Men’s 15s secured a Grand Slam in the Guinness Six Nations, while the Under-20s claimed their fifth U-20 Six Nations Grand Slam and reached the World Rugby U-20 Championship final.

Munster’s impressive late-season run, culminating in winning the BKT United Rugby Championship, earns them a nomination. The Ireland Women’s Sevens team, making history by qualifying for the Olympics, and their male counterparts, who secured a spot in the Paris 2024 Games and a bronze at the Rugby World Cup Sevens, round out the Team of the Year contenders.

The IRFU Sevens Programmes had a positive 2023, with players shining in the green jersey. The Men’s Sevens Player of the Year nominees include Captain Harry McNulty, Mark Roche, and Jack Kelly, while last year’s winner Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Captain Lucy Mulhall, and Emily Lane are in the running for the Women’s Sevens Player of the Year.

The awards ceremony in January will celebrate the achievements of these nominees, with Rory Sheridan, Head of Partnerships for Diageo, acknowledging the strength of Irish Rugby across all levels and teams. Rúaidhrí O’Connor, Chair of the Rugby Writers of Ireland, expressed gratitude to the nominees and Guinness for their longstanding support of the awards.

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