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Ultan O'Callaghan
Player of the Year Awards
4 April 2008, 1:13 pm
Lifeimi Mafi, Mick O'Driscoll, Ronan O'Gara and Alan Quinlan are the four players who wil vie with one another for the top award at the Munster Rugby Awards that take place on May 10th next at Silversprings Moran Hotel in Cork.
Following the hugely successful inaugural event last year, the second Munster Rugby Awards, in association with the Irish Examiner, is expected to attract a large crowd to mark where all funds raised will go towards the running of and development of the Munster Rugby Academy.

The purpose of the awards is to recognise individual talents in the sport in Munster, as well as the achievements of clubs and schools on and off the pitch. The gala evening celebrates the spirit of rugby in the province by encompassing both the professional and domestic game.

Eleven diverse categories will be honoured including Munster Player and Young Player of the Year to up and coming Academy talent, women's rugby, referees, schools and clubs.

The four nominees were selected by their fellow players in the squad and readers of the Irish Examiner will have the opportunity to cast their votes for their Player of the Year in the coming weeks.

The Munster Rugby Awards panel of judges will choose the overall winner, taking the Irish Examiner reader's votes into consideration.

RTE's Michael Corcoran will be the MC, with a special appearance by the internationally acclaimed illusionist and magician Keith Barry.

Tables of 10 cost ?3000. There are a limited number of tables and bookings are being taken on a first come first served basis. Contact Munster Rugby on 021-4323563 or Michael O'Brien on 087-2129999 for bookings.

The Awards

Club Mini Section of the Year; Club Youth Section of the Year; Junior Club of the Year; Senior Club of the Year.

The winners of these four awards are chosen in conjunction with the Munster Rugby Coaching & Development Office, Domestic Game Committee and relevant sub committees. Last year's winners were:

Club Mini Section of the Year- Sunday's Well RFC;

Club Youth Section of the Year- Tralee RFC;

Junior Club of the Year- Douglas RFC;

Senior Club of the Year- Garryowen FC

School of the Year: The winner of this award is chosen in conjunction with the Munster Schools Committee and last year's recipient of this award was Presentation Brothers College Cork.

Women's Player of the Year: The winner of this award is chosen by the Munster Senior Women's Team Management in conjunction with the Munster Women's Committee. Last year's winner was Paula O'Connor (Shannon RFC).

Referee of the Year: The Referee of the Year will be chosen by the Munster Association of Referees. Last year's winner was George Clancy from Bruff RFC.

Hall of Fame Award: The winner is chosen by the Munster Rugby Awards panel of judges, which is made up of representatives from Munster Rugby and the Irish Examiner. The inaugural recipient of the Hall of Fame Award was Tom Kiernan.

The John McCarthy Award for Academy Player of the Year: This award is presented to the outstanding Academy player for the season- displaying exceptional character, commitment and dedication to all aspects of the game. The winner is chosen by the Munster Rugby Academy Board and last year's winner was Keith Earls.

The Young Player of the Year: Chosen by the Munster Rugby Awards panel of judges.Last year's winner was Darragh Hurley.

Player of the Year: The winner of last year's award was John Hayes.

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