Tuesday 25 September 2018

Club stars of the season

Ireland's club rugby stars will line out tomorrow in the Aviva Stadium as the Ulster Bank League Awards return for a third successive year.

The awards, which recognise and celebrate the dedication and commitment shown by players, coaches and teams, across all Ulster Bank League Divisions, will once again be presented by Irish coach Joe Schmidt.

Ulster Bank Player of the Year Division 1A

Nominees: Aaron Conneely (Lansdowne), Matt D'Arcy (Clontarf), Kyle McCoy (Terenure)

Coach of the Year Div 1A

Nominees: John Staunton (Young Munster), James Blayney (Terenure), Bobby Byrne (UCD)

Rising Star Award Div 1A

Nominees: Cian Kelleher (Lansdowne), Tom Farrell (Lansdowne), Rory Scannell (Dolphin), Tomás Quinlan (Cork Con), Ross Adair (Ballynahinch)

Player of the Year Div 1B

Nominees: John Cleary (Galwegians), Sean Taylor (Ballymena), Ed Rossiter (Garryowen)

Player of the Year Div 2A

Nominees: Sean Coughlan (Blackrock), Ross MacAuley (Skerries), Ian Cassidy (Old Wesley)

Ireland has the capacity to deliver one of the best ever Rugby World Cup tournaments, if its bid for the 2023 tournament is successful - one of the world's leading sports officials has stated.

Speaking ahead of his arrival in Ireland to address the Shannon Airport European Sport Tourism Summit, which takes place in Thomond Park tomorrow and Friday, CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation David Grevemberg said that Ireland has a "fantastic offering" when it comes to staging major sports events.

"The advantage Ireland has is that it very much has a real sense of self-identity, which is central in Irish culture," he said.

"This is something that decision makers want to hear. They need to be satisfied that people travelling to an event will have an enriched experience, beyond the field-of-play, which I think Ireland can pretty much guarantee.

"All round, Ireland really has a fantastic offering. It has the hospitality, warmth, passion and a great history. It is a nation that is used to rolling up its sleeves, working hard and making things happen but also enjoying yourselves as you do it."

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