Seven players from Irish clubs named on Pro12 team of the year

Of those seven five are Irish internationals

Cardiff’s Robin Copeland: has made the backrow in the Pro12 team of the year.

Cardiff’s Robin Copeland: has made the backrow in the Pro12 team of the year.

 


Seven players from Irish clubs have been selected on the RaboDirect Pro12 team of the year. Of those seven five are Irish internationals. Ulster’s Johann Muller, who was also selected to captain the side and Munster centre Casey Laulala join the five Ireland players.

Andrew Trimble, who has had a career-best season, is named on the left wing and is the only Irish player to make it into the backline.

Munster’s Dave Kilcoyne is named at loosehead prop, while Seán Cronin is at hooker. On international duty Cronin has had to settle for an impact role off the bench behind Rory Bestbut with Leinster he has taken his opportunities well in the battle with Richardt Strauss for the number two jersey.

In the Ireland-dominated backrow Rhys Ruddock and Jordi Murphy – who has taken his opportunity in the absence of Seán O’Brien through injury – are in as flankers, with Cardiff Blues and soon-to-be Munster number eight Robin Copeland completing the line-up.

Ruddock’s presence at blindside follows a distinguished season that saw the 23-year-old captain the Irish Wolfhounds and gain his second Ireland cap, four years after his debut.

Alex Dunbar is the sole representative from second-placed Glasgow Warriors and the only Scot in the selection. Wales have five players included in the side with Scarlets’ scrumhalf Gareth Davies getting the nod ahead of the likes of Ruan Pienaar and Conor Murray after a blistering season that sees him top the league try-scoring charts with nine to his name.

The side is completed with one player each from South Africa, New Zealand and the Ospreys’ Canadian winger Jeff Hassler, who has scored seven tries this season.

The side was selected by a media panel made up from the four competing nations.

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