Munster Players & Men's Team Among Nominees For RWI Awards

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Deirbhile Nic a Bháird has been nominated for 15s Women's Player of the Year.

The Nominees for the 2023 Rugby Writers of Ireland awards have been confirmed with the Munster Rugby senior men’s team nominated for Team of the Year.

Munster senior women’s player Deirbhile Nic a Bháird is nominated for Women’s 15s Player of the Year while Cork and Tipperary natives, Emily Lane and Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe, are nominated for Women’s 7s Player of the Year.

Grand Slam winners and Champions Cup finalists, Caelan Doris, Hugo Keenan, Jonathan Sexton and Andrew Porter, are joined by World Rugby Player of the year nominee Bundee Aki on the shortlist for the 2023 Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Men’s 15s Player of the Year award.

Meanwhile, from a challenging start to the year to winning the inaugural WXV3 title recently in Dubai, resilience and determination is the resounding character trait of several players in the running for the Women’s 15s Player of the Year honour.

The nominees for the award are Sam Monaghan, one of Ireland’s current co-captains, former captain Nichola Fryday, last year’s award winner Neve Jones, and Old Belvedere club-mates Deirbhile Nic a Bháird and Aoife Dalton.

The Ireland Men’s 15s team, the Munster Men, the Ireland Under-20s, and both the Ireland Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams, have all been nominated for the prestigious Dave Guiney Team of the Year accolade.

Andy Farrell’s side claimed Ireland’s fourth Grand Slam in this year’s Guinness Six Nations, while the Ireland Under-20s won their fifth U-20 Six Nations Grand Slam and reached the World Rugby U-20 Championship final in the summer.

Munster have also been nominated for their brilliant late-season run to be crowned BKT United Rugby Championship winners. They put together three successive away victories in the knockout stages, culminating in their final win over the DHL Stormers in Cape Town.

Rounding out the nominees for the Team of the Year, the Ireland Women’s Sevens team enjoyed a historic season, securing qualification for the Olympics for the first time, while their male counterparts also booked their tickets to Paris 2024 Games, along with picking up bronze at the Rugby World Cup Sevens.

With a big focus on preparations for the Olympics as the new HSBC SVNS season kicks off next week in Dubai, a hugely positive 2023 for the IRFU Sevens Programmes saw a number of players shine in the green jersey.

Captain Harry McNulty, Mark Roche and Jack Kelly are the three nominees for the Men’s Sevens Player of the Year award.

Last year’s winner Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, captain Lucy Mulhall and Emily Lane are in contention for the Women’s Sevens Player of the Year honour.

Ahead of the awards ceremony which will be held in January, Rory Sheridan, Head of Partnerships for Diageo, said: “This season has really demonstrated the strength of Irish Rugby and with strong, competitive successes and performances across all levels and teams.

“I would like to congratulate all of those who have been nominated today by the Rugby Writers of Ireland, and to recognise the achievements of the wider squads who have been acknowledged for their success with their respective teams.

“It is fantastic to see the scale and breadth of our nominees across all our provinces, and to get to recognise their commitment and contribution to the sport throughout the season. We would like to congratulate them all and wish them the very best of luck on what will be a very enjoyable evening.”

Rúaidhrí O’Connor, Chair of the Rugby Writers of Ireland, added: “As Chair of the Rugby Writers, I would like to congratulate all the players and teams nominated for this year’s Guinness Rugby Writers Awards and we look forward to celebrating them in person.

“It has been a memorable year on all fronts, from the Grand Slam successes of the senior Men’s and Under-20 teams, Ireland’s unforgettable run through the Rugby World Cup, the provinces competing deep into the season with Munster claiming the URC title in May, the Sevens teams qualifying for Paris, and the Women’s side building their way back after a difficult period to win the WXV3 tournament.

“We’re delighted to acknowledge these achievements and thank each of our nominees for their ongoing contribution to Irish Rugby. My special thanks to Guinness for their unwavering support as sponsor of these awards, which has spanned over two decades.”

2023 Guinness Rugby Writers Of Ireland Awards – List Of Nominees:

Men’s 15s Player of the Year

Bundee Aki
Caelan Doris
Hugo Keenan
Jonathan Sexton
Andrew Porter

Women’s 15s Player of the Year

Sam Monaghan
Nichola Fryday
Neve Jones
Deirbhile Nic a Bháird
Aoife Dalton

Dave Guiney Team of the Year

Ireland Men’s 15s team
Munster Men’s 15s team
Ireland Under-20 Men’s team
Ireland Women’s Sevens team
Ireland Men’s Sevens team

Men’s Sevens Player of the Year

Mark Roche
Harry McNulty
Jack Kelly

Women’s Sevens Player of the Year

Emily Lane
Lucy Mulhall
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe

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