Thursday 20 October 2016

Paul O'Connell wins Players' Player of the Year

Paul O'Connell
Paul O'Connell

If ever there was proof positive that Paul O'Connell should extend his career it came last night when he was voted the IRUPA Players' Player of the Year.

The Irish captain turns back the clock to 2006 when he last received the award as confirmation the 35 year-old is playing better than ever.

"It is really great to win this award. It's hard to believe it is nine years ago that I last won it," reacted O'Connell.

"It's been a fantastic season for Ireland and winning my 100th cap during the Six Nations was really special, so this tops it off nicely."

The Limerick lock forward moves into the company of Tommy Bowe and Gordon D'Arcy as men who have earned the honour twice.

This was doubled-up by O'Connell's receipt of the Newstalk Supporters' Player of the Year award.

"Paul has led the Irish team admirably from the front and this award is a superb reflection of the fantastic season he has enjoyed," said IRUPA Chief Executive Omar Hassanein.

"Winning an IRUPA award is the highest honour a player can receive in this country."

Centre Robbie Henshaw was named the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year after impressing in the November internationals and bringing his special brand of athleticism to Ireland's Six Nations Championship campaign.

The Connacht wonder-kid was three-handed, being nominated for O'Connell's award and winning VW Try of the Year for his fetch over the head of Alex Goode against England.

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