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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Vincent Whelan

Inside Irish Rugby awards bash as Josh van der Flier and Sam Monaghan scoop POTY honours

Ireland's finest rugby players swapped their scrum caps and boots for tuxes and fancy dresses as the 2022 Rugby Players Ireland Awards took place at The Clayton Hotel on Burlington Road.

Josh van der Flier was named men's player of the year while Sam Monaghan took the women's gong home.

The Leinster flanker has really taken his game to the next level this season and has been recognised on an even bigger scale having been nominated for the EPCR Player of the Year too.

He was chosen ahead of provincial teammates Caelan Doris and Hugo Keenan as well as Mack Hansen while Wasps lock Monaghan saw off competition from Linda Djougang and Eve Higgins.

Sam Monaghan on stage to get her award (©INPHO/Tom Maher)
van der Flier reacts after winning his award (©INPHO/Tom Maher)
Caelan Doris won try of the year for his score against New Zealand (©INPHO/Tom Maher)
Katie O'Dwyer, Michelle Claffey, Eimear Considine, Hannah O'Connor, Laura Feely, Dorothy Wall, Beibhinn Parsons, Sene Naoupu and Sam Monaghan (©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo)
Mack Hansen, Cian Prendergast, Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend, Bart Vermeulen and Eoghan Masterson (©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo)
A wider view of the ceremony (©INPHO/Bryan Keane)

Both 15s POTY awards were sponsored by Accenture while Whoop were behind the Women's Young Player of the Year award which Higgins did receive the nod for.

Cian Prendergast was honoured with the men's equivalent which is named in memory of tragic Ulster star Nevin Spence.

The 7s awards went to Terry Kennedy and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe respectively.

Upon accepting his award, JVDF said: “I have many great memories from what has been a special year for me, on both a personal and professional level.

"To be acknowledged by my teammates and opponents in this way is particularly humbling. A special word of thanks to my fiancée and family who continue to help guide me through!”

Monaghan, meanwhile, paid credit to her teammates for persevering through a difficult year on and off the pitch for the women's game as they continue to battle against professional setups like those of the French or English in the Six Nations.

She said: "This team has been through a tremendous amount this year, we always keep fighting. The bravery these players have shown, past and present, on and off the pitch, is captivating.

"To be voted by them for this award is an extreme honour and we will continue to fight to put the green jersey in a better place for the next generation.”

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