Ireland and Leinster star Rob Kearney, has been voted the IRUPA Players’ Player of the Year by his fellow players at the 10th IRUPA Rugby Players’ Awards at The Burlington Hotel Dublin.
The full back’s brave and consistent performances for Province and Country have made him a worthy and popular winner. Rob also walked away with the Newstalk Supporters Players of the Year 2012. Munster’s Peter O’Mahony was also among those recognized when he was awarded the IRUPA Nature Valley Young Player 2012.
Kearney was delighted to receive the award. He said “This is the first time I’ve received this award which has been voted for by my peers and I am overwhelmed to be honest that the other players in Ireland have chosen me”.
As well as the honor of Player of the Year, Rob and all the winners receive an inscribed TW Steel watch, kindly provided by Fields Jewellers.
Twice nominated Craig Gilroy of Ulster picked up the IRUPA Volkswagen Try of the Year for his amazing effort against Munster in the Heineken Cup. Leinster’s Kevin McLaughlin collected the IRUPA O2 Unsung Hero Award, voted for the first time by the public on www.o2.ie.
Joining Ireland’s heroes in the IRUPA Hall of Fame was Munster legend, John Hayes. Recently retired Mick O’Driscoll was awarded the inaugural IRUPA Hibernia College Medal for Excellence, which rewards on field effort combined with off field commitment to the game. Nominees were voted by their peers but were also judged on their contribution to the sport through community involvement, education, work and charitable initiatives.
Omar Hassanein, CEO of IRUPA said “Winning an IRUPA award is the highest honor a player can receive. Those players can take great satisfaction from the fact that they have the total respect of those who they play with and against. Congratulations to all those nominated and in particular to Rob, Peter, Craig, Kevin, Mick and of course John in winning what are the most sought after awards in Irish rugby.”