At the Leinster Rugby Awards Ball yesterday evening, at the Clayton Burlington Hotel, Caelan Doris and Jenny Murphy, were the big winners as they took home the Ireland Men and Women’s Players of the Year Awards for 2023.
It capped a remarkable few weeks for Doris, who was also named the Rugby Players Ireland Player of the Year for 2023.
While Murphy was unfortunately unable to attend, her award was accepted on her behalf by her Head Coach, Tania Rosser.
Other players celebrating included Scott Penny and Aoife Dalton who took home the Laya Healthcare Men’s Young Player of the Year and the BearingPoint Women’s Young Player of the Year Awards.
Like Doris before, it capped a brilliant fortnight for Dalton who received the same award at the Rugby Players Ireland Awards a few weeks ago.
Hosted by Craig Doyle, with entertainment provided by Mario Rosenstock, the evening brought the curtain down on the 2022/23 domestic and professional season across the 12 counties of Leinster Rugby and also marked the final formal engagement for outgoing President, Debbie Carty.
The proud Wexford Wanderers club woman opened proceedings with a touching tribute to all those that had helped her in her year as President of the Leinster Branch.
Carty is the first woman to be elected as President of the Leinster Branch, and she wished incoming President, Billy Murphy the very best of luck in his role.
After that it was over to Craig Doyle to get the evening underway and over the course of the next few hours, the best of the game at all levels in the 12 counties of Leinster was celebrated, while departing players and staff were also acknowledged, with a brilliant ovation in particular for the departing duo of Stuart Lancaster and Johnny Sexton.
Gerry Murphy was the latest inductee into the Guinness Hall of Fame.
The former Leinster and Ireland Head Coach, who also had spells with Wanderers, Clontarf and Terenure, was warmly welcomed onto the stage by many of those who knew him well from his 17 years working at the Branch head office and he was certainly a very popular winner.
Another to be acknowledged for stellar contributions to the game of rugby in Leinster, was Co Carlow FC’s Rachael O’Brien who was awarded the Nissan Ireland Contribution to Leinster Rugby Award, for her tireless efforts on behalf of the game in Carlow, in Leinster and now on the IRFU Executive.
Mullingar RFC, Old Belvedere RFC, St Mary’s CBS (Portlaoise) and Gonzaga College were other big winners on the night, with Liam Turner taking home the gong for the JUST EAT Tackle of the Year for his (and Rhys Ruddock, Rob Russell and Ciarán Frawley’s efforts) against the DHL Stormers at the RDS.
Garry Ringrose took home two pieces of glass winning the BDO Supporters Player of the Year trophy as well as the Irish Times Try of the Year, before The Ramblers took over from Craig Doyle and played into the early hours.
Leinster Rugby Awards 2023
- Best Menswear Development School of the Year: St Mary’s CBS, Portlaoise
- JUST EAT Tackle of the Year: Liam Turner
- Beauchamps School of the Year: Gonzaga College
- Nissan Ireland Contribution to Leinster Rugby: Rachael O’Brien (Co Carlow FC)
- The Irish Times Try of the Year: Garry Ringrose (v Racing 92)
- DigitalWell Junior Club of the Year: Mullingar RFC
- Energia Senior Club of the Year: Old Belvedere RFC
- BDO Supporters Player of the Year: Garry Ringrose
- Guinness Hall of Fame: Gerry Murphy
- BearingPoint Women’s Young Player of the Year: Aoife Dalton
- Laya Healthcare Men’s Young Player of the Year: Scott Penny
- Band of Ireland Women’s Player of the Year: Jenny Murphy
- Bank of Ireland Men’s Player of the Year: Caelan Doris