Ulster and Ireland winger Andrew Trimble has been voted the IRUPA Players’ Player of the Year 2014 by his fellow players at the 12th annual awards ceremony.
Trimble started all of Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations games, scoring three tries along the way in a season of impressive performances.
The prestigious award counts as Trimble’s third IRUPA Award overall, having won the Young Player of the Year award in 2006 and Try of the Year accolade in 2010. The award also comes only days after Trimble was recognised as the Ulster Player of the Year.
Connacht and Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw was awarded the Nevin Spence Young Player 2014 accolade for the second year in succession, marking it the first time a player has won back-to-back awards in any category in the 12-year history of the awards.
The Try of the Year went to Rob Kearney for his intercept try against New Zealand during Ireland’s heartbreaking defeat to the Rugby Championship holders in the Autumn International Series.
Trimble was delighted to receive the award saying: “It's an honour to be recognised with this award, especially as it’s voted for by the players.
"It’s been a great season and this really tops it all off”.
Joining Ireland’s heroes in the IRUPA Hall of Fame was Ulster and Ireland prop Simon Best.
Munster’s James Coughlan collected the Unsung Hero Award, voted for by the public.
Devin Toner was presented with the Supporters' Player of the Year award.
Leinster’s Shane Jennings was awarded the Medal for Excellence, which rewards on-field effort combined with off-field commitment to the game.
Nominees were voted for by their peers but were also judged on their contribution to the sport through community involvement, education, work and charitable initiatives.
Three new awards were presented this year. The Contribution to Society award was presented to Donncha O’Callaghan in recognition of the significant impact made to society through his work with Unicef.
The inaugural Women’s Sevens Player of the Year 2014 as voted by members of the sevens squad was presented to Nicole Cronin for her consistent performances during the qualification tournaments for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.
In a season of standout performances and memories, members of the public voted Ireland’s Six Nations title win as the Rugby Moment of the Year via Twitter. The award was collected by Gordon D’Arcy and Ireland team manager Michael Kearney.