Conor Murray named as players’ player of the year
Tadhg Furlong is also voted supporters’ player of the year by 'Irish Times' readers
Conor Murray has been voted player of the year by Rugby Players Ireland. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Busy news day in Irish rugby. The sweetest World Cup draw imaginable, confirmation that the five year residency rule arrives in 2020 and Conor Murray gets recognised by his peers as player of the season.
Furlong was voted, by readers of The Irish Times, as supporters' player of the year. The Wexford tighthead, whose magnificent rise has him primed to feature for the Lions in New Zealand, held off the above internationals along with Charles Piutau, John Muldoon and Tiernan O’Halloran.
Every player nominated has produced moments of excellence this season, making it the most competitive year ever, but Murray was the dominate figure during Ireland’s momentous victory over the All Blacks in Chicago.
“It has been an incredible season and one that I have thoroughly enjoyed,” said Murray. “We have had our challenges and some sad days along the way, but to have both Munster and Ireland performing at the highest level has been very satisfying. Being recognised in this way by my peers is special – I just hope that I can continue to do my job in the important games that are to come.”
Murray, along with Stander and Henshaw, has also been selected to tour with the Lions.
Try of the year
The women’s player of the year is Lindsay Peat as the Dublin woman completed a hugely challenging cross-over from Gaelic football and basketball.
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe was, again, named women’s sevens player of the year.
Geordan Murphy was inducted into the Rugby Players Ireland Hall of Fame despite his entire club career being with Leicester in England (the club he captained to Premiership glory and the 2009 European Cup final). Murphy also gathered 72 caps for Ireland and played twice for the Lions in a 16 season career that led him directly onto the Leicester coaching staff.
Ronan Loughney, a member of the RPI executive board who recently retired after 11 years propping for Connacht, was awarded the Vodafone Medal for Excellence, which rewards on-field effort combined with off-field commitment to the game. The Zurich Contribution to Irish Society, was presented to both Hannah Tyrrell and Jake Heenan in recognition of their work in their respective communities.
ZURICH RPI PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Conor Murray ( Munster). Nominated: Tadhg Furlong (Leinster); Robbie Henshaw (Leinster); Conor Murray (Munster); CJ Stander (Munster).
VOLKSWAGEN TRY OF THE YEAR – Robbie Henshaw (Ireland v New Zealand).
VODAFONE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE – Ronan Loughney (Connacht).
BNY MELLON RPI HALL OF FAME – Geordan Murphy (Leicester Tigers).
THE IRISH TIMES SUPPORTERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Tadhg Furlong (Leinster).
DRUIDS GLEN HOTEL & GOLF RESORT MOMENT OF THE YEAR – A Day in Chicago (as voted by the public on Twitter).
BNY MELLON WOMEN’S XVS PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Lindsay Peat.
WOMEN’S SEVENS PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe.