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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 19 September, 2019

Nacewa's stellar season capped by Players' Player award

Leinster full-back “overwhelmed” by recognition from his fellow professionals.

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

ISA NACEWA’S week just keeps getting better and better.

Having helped Leinster book a place in the Heineken Cup final with a 32-23 victory over Toulouse on Saturday, the New Zealand-born full-back was declared the Bord Gáis Energy IRUPA Players’ Player of the Year at a ceremony held in Dublin last night.

The award caps a magnificent year for the star who has scored 170 points, including seven tries, in 28 games for the province this season.

He becomes the first overseas player to take the prize in this, the ninth year of the IRUPA Awards.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony last night, the 28-year-old, who was signed by Michael Cheika from Auckland in 2008, said that he was honoured to be recognised by his fellow professionals.

“This is the first time I’ve received an award in any country which has been voted for by my peers and I am overwhelmed to be honest that the other players in Ireland have chosen me. I’d like to thank all my team mates in Leinster who have made my job a lot easier.”

The evening’s other major winners were Ulster’s Nevin Spence who picked up the Nature Valley Young Player of the Year gong, while Fionn Carr was presented with the Try of the Year award for this blistering solo effort in Connacht’s game against the Llanelli Scarlets last September.

The young winger will be in good company among his fellow award winners when he moves eastwards to Leinster in the close season. The province’s South African hooker Richardt Strauss collected the Nokia Unsung Hero award while Sean O’Brien was voted as Supporters’ Player of the Year following a poll on Newstalk 106-108.

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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