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Dublin: 2°C Friday 16 April 2021

Proper order: Rob Kearney awarded Player of the Year by Leinster peers

The full-back from Louth held off competition from Isa Nacewa and Jonathon Sexton to capture the top playing prize.

Rob Kearney is congratulated after scoring a try against Glasgow at Firhill.
Rob Kearney is congratulated after scoring a try against Glasgow at Firhill.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

ROB KEARNEY WAS named as the Leinster Players’ Player of the Year at a ceremony at the Mansion House on Saturday night.

The full-back got the nod after receiving more votes from his peers than fellow nominees Isa Nacewa and Jonathan Sexton.

The Louth man made his debut for Leinster in the 2005/06 season – capturing the Young Player of the Year award – and has featured 13 times since returning from World Cup duty with Ireland.

Nacewa was the man in possession of the number 15 jersey upon Kearney’s return until a series of astounding games for province and country settled the issue and moved the Fijian international to the wing.

Kearney has scored seven tries, including crucial scores against Glasgow and Cardiff, and landed an impressive drop goal in the victory over Munster at the Aviva last November.

Awards for BO’D and Mads

Ian Madigan received the Young Player of the Year prize. Being recognised by his teammates for a break-through season will surely rank as a highlight for the 23-year-old fly-half.

Madigan was called up to the Ireland Wolfhounds squad at the start of the year and has scored eight tries in 23 Leinster games, to date, this season.

The Try of the Year honour went to Brian O’Driscoll for his score against Cardiff in the Heineken Cup quarter-final.

Much of the credit for the try must go to Sexton for his reverse pass to Luke Fitzgerald who, in turn, sent O’Driscoll racing free.

There was a special presentation made to Shane Horgan following his recent retirement and Eddie ‘Ned’ Thornton was inducted into the Guinness Hall of Fame.

Read: “He understands the Munster way”: Simon Easterby backs Axel for top job

Read:Mascot call for Leinster semi-final: Get on the phone to your niece or nephew!

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