James Crombie/INPHO Hansen is Connacht's player of the year.
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Mack Hansen named player of the year at Connacht awards night
Matthew Devine is academy player of the year after helping the Ireland U20s to their Grand Slam.

MACK HANSEN WAS named Connacht player of the year at the province’s awards ball in Galway.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed a superb first season with the western province after joining from the Brumbies in Australia last summer.

Hansen has scored six tries in his 14 appearances for Connacht, featuring on the left wing before a more recent move to fullback. His form for Andy Friend’s side earned Hansen an Ireland call-up for this year’s Six Nations and he made four starts as Andy Farrell’s men won the Triple Crown.

Conor Oliver and Cian Prendergast were also nominated for the player of the year award, with the latter being named fans’ player of the year.

22-year-old Prendergast has been exceptional in the back row for Connacht and trained with Ireland ahead of the Six Nations. He has been tipped for possible inclusion on Ireland’s tour of New Zealand this summer.

Catherine Martin, who featured for Connacht in their inter-provincial campaign at the beginning of this season, was named women’s player of the year at the awards ceremony.

The late Mick Grealish was honoured with the Lifetime Contribution to Connacht Rugby award, having dedicated his life to helping to grow the sport in the province.

A former Connacht Rugby president, Grealish was a totem of Our Lady’s Boys Club RFC and held a wide range of roles within the provincial rugby structures. 

matthew-devine-celebrates-scoring-their-sixth-try Ben Brady / INPHO Ireland U20s scrum-half Matthew Devine is Connacht's academy player of the year. Ben Brady / INPHO / INPHO

Scrum-half Matthew Devine was named academy player of the year after helping the Ireland U20s to their Grand Slam.

The 20-year-old Ballinasloe man now plays his club rugby with Corinthians RFC and clearly has a bright future in professional rugby with Connacht. Devine beat off competition from fellow nominees Cathal Forde and Diarmuid Kilgallen to clinch academy player of the year.

Devine’s father Mike played for Buccaneers and Connacht, and coached his son in Ballinasloe as well as at Garbally College.

Harry West of Ballina RFC and Kings Hospital was named men’s U19 player of the year, while Max Flynn of Corinthians and Cistercian College Roscrea is the men’s U18 player of the year. Connemara RFC and Clifden Community College’s Molly Boote won the women’s U18 player of the year award.

Creggs RFC were named club of the year, while Brian Diffley from the same club was named junior club player of the year, as Calum Quinn of Ballina RFC won senior club player of the year. Galwegians Women’s Aoife Williams picked up the women’s club player of the year.

Coach of the year went to Buccaneers’ Charlie Couper, while Andrew Fogarty was named referee of the year.

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