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Flying high: Kiwi playmaker Bleyendaal lands Munster Player of the Year gong

Darren Sweetnam picked up the Young Player of the Year award.

Munster fly-half Tyler Bleyendaal.
Munster fly-half Tyler Bleyendaal.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

KIWI FLY-HALF TYLER Bleyendaal’s superb season for Munster has been rewarded with the Player of the Year award for 2017.

The 26-year-old has picked up four man-of-the-match gongs in his 24 appearances to date this season and was a key factor in the province’s run to the semi-finals of the Champions Cup for the first time since 2014.

Bleyendaal has also been a consistently high performer in the Guinness Pro12, helping Munster to secure a home semi-final.

The former Crusader was one of 15 nominees for the European Player of the Year award alongside team-mates CJ Stander and Conor Murray, and is just two points behind Cardiff fly-half Steve Shingler in the race for the Pro12 golden boot.

He is also the second most accurate place kicker in the Pro12 this season, his 85.07% (57 from 67) coming just under three percentage points behind Sam Davies of the Ospreys.

The former New Zealand U20 captain recovered from an injury-blighted beginning to his Munster career to excel this season and will be qualified to play for Ireland next January under World Rugby’s three-year residency rule.

The multi-talented Darren Sweetnam picked up the Munster Young Player of the Year award today after having a breakthrough season for the province.

Darren Sweetnam Darren Sweetnam. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Sweetnam, a former Cork senior hurler, has excelled in Munster’s Pro12 and Champions Cup campaigns, crossing for seven tries in 25 appearances to date.

At just 23 years of age the speedy winger is being tipped for a big future in the game, just three years after making his debut for the province.

Other Munster awards handed out today included Conor Oliver being named as the Academy Player of the Year, Siobhan Fleming winning Women’s Player of the Year and former Munster and Ireland fly-half Barry McGann being honoured with a Hall of Fame Award.

  • Player of the Year - Tyler Bleyendaal
  • Young Player of the Year - Darren Sweetnam
  • John McCarthy Award for Greencore Munster Rugby Academy Player of the Year - Conor Oliver
  • Women’s Player of the Year - Siobhan Fleming
  • Referee of the Year – Joy Neville
  • Hall of Fame Award - Barry McGann
  • Senior Club of the Year - Cork Constitution FC
  • Junior Club of the Year - Clonmel RFC
  • Club Youth Section of the Year - Nenagh Ormond RFC
  • Club Mini Section of the Year - Fethard and District RFC
  • School of the Year - Presentation Brothers College, Cork

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