CJ Stander became the first overseas player to be named the Munster Rugby Player of the Year at today’s annual Munster Rugby Awards, in association with the Irish Independent.
The event took place at the Maryborough Hotel in Cork with eleven awards presented to worthy recipients involved in professional and domestic rugby in Munster.
The full Munster squad, Head Coach Anthony Foley and Team Manager Niall O’Donovan were all in attendance, joining domestic game volunteers in recognising and honouring rugby achievements across the province.
With an audience of 270 guests CJ Stander was named this year’s Munster Rugby Player of the Year after a hugely impressive season so far. The South African became the first overseas player to receive the accolade after scoring eight tries in 22 appearances and picking up no less than five man of the match awards.
Stander was nominated alongside Billy Holland and previous winner Tommy O’Donnell. The award shortlist was decided by members of the senior squad with Munster supporters deciding the overall winner through a public vote on the Irish Independent website.
The Young Player of the Year was awarded to 24-year-old hooker Duncan Casey while the John McCarthy Award for Greencore Munster Rugby Academy Player of the Year went to Waterford’s Jack O’Donoghue.
For the second year in a row Tralee RFC produced the Women’s Player of the Year with flanker Ciara Griffin the recipient of the award.
The latest inductee into the Munster Rugby Hall of Fame was Cork Con’s Noel Murphy, acknowledged for his contribution to rugby in Munster and Ireland.
The club and school awards were distributed around the province with Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary representatives all receiving accolades. Tipperary’s Clonmel RFC claimed the Junior honours for the second year in a row while Young Munster RFC were awarded Senior Club of the Year.
Ennis RFC and Listowel RFC were worthy recipients for their respective youths and mini sections while the school of the year was awarded to Bandon Grammar School.
Full list of Munster Rugby Award winners for season 2014/15:
Listowel RFC – Mini Section of the Year
Ennis RFC – Youth Section of the Year
Bandon Grammar School – School of the Year
Clonmel RFC – Junior Club of the Year
Young Munster RFC – Senior Club of the Year
Andy Brace – Referee of the Year
Ciara Griffin – Women’s Player of the Year
Noel Murphy – Hall of Fame
Jack O’Donoghue – The John McCarthy Award for Greencore Academy Player of the Year
Duncan Casey – Young Player of the Year
CJ Stander – Player of the Year