Jack McGrath promoting Rugby Players Ireland and Zurich's Tackle Your Feelings campaign

Jack McGrath promoting Rugby Players Ireland and Zurich's Tackle Your Feelings campaign

Zurich Irish Rugby Players' Awards

Sporting legends take to the stage tonight for what is certain to be one of the biggest nights in Irish sport at the Rugby Players Ireland Awards.

The 2017 Zurich Players' Player of the Year Award winner will be announced tonight at the prestigious Rugby Players Ireland Awards. Hosted by former Irish International Shane Horgan at the Clayton Hotel in Dublin, the Rugby Players Ireland Awards is tipped to be one of the biggest nights in Irish sport.

In the running to claim the much sought after Zurich Players' Player of the Year Award are four players that have excelled for both their province and country, with each nominee set to travel with the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand in a few weeks.

Tadhg Furlong has had an exceptional season, leaving many would-be defenders in his wake and securing a cult status with Irish fans. Conor Murray has had an outstanding season for both Munster and Ireland, with the scrum-half now firmly considered to be amongst the best in the world. Robbie Henshaw is nominated for the second year in a row and last year's winner CJ Stander, again features in recognition of his drive and tenacity.

Commenting on the awards, Rob Kearney, a recipient of the Players' Player of the Year Award in 2012 and current Chairman of Rugby Players Ireland said: "To be nominated for the Players' Player of the Year Award is a fantastic achievement, especially when it is voted for by your fellow players. It brings a great deal of satisfaction that your colleagues appreciate your work and efforts. I would like to congratulate all the nominees, wish them the best and hope that they enjoy the night."

Speaking about the awards, Anthony Brennan, CEO of Zurich in Ireland added: "Yet again, an array of some of the best rugby talent in the world stand to join a distinguished list of past winners. We are delighted to support the tremendous work of these players and in the wider Irish rugby sense, by recognising top class performances at the awards. Their respective efforts have been a source of great pride for us all at Zurich, given our connection to the game through Rugby Players Ireland."

The evening will honour a season that has seen the Irish provincial sides feature prominently in both domestic and European competition, while the national team also celebrated victories over South Africa and New Zealand before rounding up the season with a second-place finish in the Six Nations.

A host of talented young players will contest the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year Award and three iconic try efforts will contest the Volkswagen Try of the Year. Following a strong showing in the Six Nations, several players have come into contention for The BNY Mellon Women's XVs Player of the Year as voted for by the players involved over the last season. The Mason Alexander Women's 7s Player of the Year will also be awarded on the night.

The Zurich Contribution to Irish Society Award, which honours a current or past player that has taken an active role in making a difference to the wider community, will also be announced at the awards ceremony.

The induction of the new member of the BNY Mellon Hall of Fame will take place on the night along and the Vodafone Medal for Excellence, which will be awarded to the individual who demonstrates exceptional commitment to the game both on and off field.

Nominations

ZURICH PLAYERS' PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2017

Tadhg Furlong Leinster
Robbie Henshaw Leinster
Conor Murray Munster
CJ Stander Leinster

NEVIN SPENCE YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Joey Carbery Leinster
Garry Ringrose Leinster
Darren Sweetnam Munster

ZURICH CONTRIBUTION TO IRISH SOCIETY

The award will be presented at the award ceremony.

BNY MELLON RUGBY PLAYERS IRELAND HALL OF FAME

Recipient to be announced.

VOLKSWAGEN TRY OF YEAR

Craig Gilroy Italy v Ireland RBS 6 Nations
Robbie Henshaw Ireland v New Zealand Test
Conor Murray Ireland v New Zealand Test

IRISH TIMES SUPPORTERS' PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Vote for the winner online - http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/player-of-the-year

Tadhg Furlong Leinster
Robbie Henshaw Leinster
Paddy Jackson Ulster
John Muldoon Connacht
Conor Murray Munster
John Muldoon Connacht
Charles Piutau Ulster
CJ Stander Munster

BNY MELLON WOMEN'S XVs PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Paula Fitzpatrick
Leah Lyons
Lindsay Peat

DRUIDS GLEN HOTEL & GOLF RESORT MOMENT OF THE YEAR

Voted by the public on Twitter @druidsglen (#DruidsMoment17) the Rugby Moment of the Year will be unveiled at the Awards ceremony on Wednesday 10th May 2016.

VODAFONE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE

Ronan Loughney Connacht
Jack McGrath Leinster
Ruen Pienaar Ulster

MASON ALEXANDER WOMEN'S SEVENS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Ashleigh Baxter
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe
Megan Williams

About: Rugby Players Ireland

Rugby Players Ireland is the representative body for Ireland's professional rugby players and strives to make Ireland the best place in the world to play rugby. The association also focuses on player development and ensures that the profile enjoyed by Ireland's rugby players contributes to the future development, not just of Irish rugby, but Irish society as a whole. This can been seen in its Tackle Your Feelings mental wellbeing campaign.

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