Jonathan Sexton has been named Player of the Year at the annual Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Awards.
Sexton enjoyed a great 2013, winning the RaboDirect PRO12 and Amlin Challenge Cup with Leinster before a successful Lions tour in which he played a starring role.
The Racing Metro player was delighted to receive the accolade, which was voted for by the Irish rugby media, and said: “It has been a long time since I won an individual award like the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Player of the Year.
“It’s not something you set out to achieve, you want to win things from a team perspective, but it is nice to see your efforts recognised on an individual basis.
"As an outhalf you need to thank all of the players you’ve played with and the coaches as well, because you rely on them so heavily. It’s a good sign that if the No 10 wins an award that the team has done their job well, too.”
"As an outhalf you need to thank all of the players you’ve played with and the coaches as well, because you rely on them so heavily" - Jonathan Sexton
Sexton’s former team, Leinster, were awarded the Dave Guiney Team of the Year for the third year running after claiming three trophies last season, namely the Amlin Challenge Cup, RaboDirect Pro12 League and the British & Irish Cup.
Niamh Briggs picked up the Women’s Player of the Year award after a fantastic season where she played an instrumental role in the Irish women’s team historic Grand Slam victory in the Six Nations. The women’s side were also honoured for their heroics with a Special Recognition Award.
Lansdowne were voted Club of the Year due to their success in the All-Ireland League this past season, as they sauntered to the title by a margin of 18 points.
The Tom Rooney Award went to Alain Rolland for his exceptional contribution to refereeing, which saw him represent Ireland at the highest level on the world stage.
Meaanwhile Former Ireland and British & Irish Lions player and manager Donal Lenihan was inducted into the Guinness Hall of Fame.