Awards night

Earls, Furlong, Murray and Sexton up for Players' Player of the Year

James Ryan, Jacob Stockdale and Jordan Larmour have been nominated for Young Player of the Year.

GRAND SLAM WINNERS Keith Earls, Tadhg Furlong, Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton have been nominated for the Players’ Player of the Year award.

The winner will be announced at the Irish Rugby Players awards night in Dublin on 16 May.

pjimage The nominees for the 2018 Players' Player of the Year.

Munster wing Earls was exceptional throughout the Six Nations campaign, providing memorable moments such as a try-saving tackle against Italy and his catch of Sexton’s kick pass late on in the win over France.

Out-half Sexton was magnificent for Joe Schmidt’s side too, with his long-range drop goal against the French getting the ball rolling for the Grand Slam, while he has also been superb for Leinster.

Murray’s influence on Ireland and Munster has continued to grow, particularly with his try-scoring threat and the relatively recent addition of long-range place-kicking.

Leinster tighthead Furlong is now arguably the best player in his position in world rugby and his set-piece prowess is matched by skill and mobility around the pitch, meaning there are four very strong contenders for the award.

Meanwhile, Leinster pair James Ryan and Jordan Larmour are up for the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year award alongside Ulsterman Jacob Stockdale, whose try-scoring exploits were pivotal for Ireland this year.

Ireland captain Ciara Griffin, openside flanker Claire Molloy and centre Katie Fitzhenry are up for the Women’s XV Player of the Year.

Lucy Molloy, Ashleigh Baxter and Stacey Flood make up the shortlist for the Women’s Sevens Player of the Year.

IRP’s Medal for Excellence, which is “awarded to the individual who has shown exceptional commitment to the game of rugby both on and off the field,” will be decided between Grenoble hooker Duncan Casey, Connacht’s Jake Heenan and Leinster man Rhys Ruddock.

There are three excellent contenders for Try of the Year, while fans can vote for their Supporters Player of the Year online.

Irish Rugby Players award nominees 2018:

Players’ player of the year:

Keith Earls (Munster)
Tadgh Furlong (Leinster)
Conor Murray (Munster)
Jonathan Sexton (Leinster)

Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year:

Jordan Larmour (Leinster)
James Ryan (Leinster)
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster)

Try of the Year:

Andrew Conway (Munster v Toulon)
Jacob Stockdale (Ireland v Wales)
CJ Stander (England v Ireland)

Women’s XV Player of the Year:

Katie Fitzhenry (Leinster)
Ciara Griffin (Munster)
Claire Molloy (Bristol)

Medal for Excellence:

Duncan Casey (Grenoble)
Jake Heenan (Connacht)
Rhys Ruddock (Leinster)

Sevens Player of the Year:

Ashleigh Baxter
Stacey Flood
Lucy Molloy

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Pick your favourite out of these three brilliant nominees for Rugby Players Ireland Try of the Year

‘I’d never criticise my players. When we lose, it’s on me’ – Van Graan

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