Leinster’s Garry Ringrose and Connacht wing Beibhinn Parsons have been named men’s and women’s Irish Rugby Writers Player of the Year for the 2019/20 season.
Garry had an impressive and consistent 2019/2020 season for both club and country playing well at the Rugby World Cup in Japan and through Leinster’s unbeaten Guinness PRO14 season.
He captained Leinster for the first time in last September’s Guinness PRO14 Final as well.
Garry was also selected by his teammates as the 2019/20 Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Player’s Player of the Year.
Women’s Top Player
Ballinasloe native Beibhinn Parsons picked up her award after a season where she burst onto the scene during the Six Nations.
She was the star of Ireland’s opening Six Nations wins against Scotland and Wales before the tournament was suspended before being concluded in the Autumn.
Parsons scored three tries during the 2020 Women’s Six Nations.
Accepting her award she said “To follow in the footsteps of incredible players like Ciara Griffin, Claire Molloy and Sene Naoupu is just incredible, to even be nominated for an award of this calibre has exceeded all my expectations”.
The Leinster Rugby team was named the Dave Guiney Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Team of the Year in recognition of an exceptional Guinness PRO14 season.
It saw them finish the season undefeated with an outstanding 17 wins in 17 matches en route to their third consecutive Guinness PRO14 title and seventh overall.
Hall of Fame
Leinster, Ireland, and UL Bohemians’ Fiona Coghlan has been inducted into the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame alongside British & Irish Lion, Ireland, Ulster and Ballymena’s, Trevor Ringland.
Coghlan made 85 appearances for Ireland between 2003 and 2014. She captained Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning team in 2013, before leading the team to the semi-finals of the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup. Ringland, who played for Ireland 34 times between 1981 and 1988, was a member British & Irish Lions squad in 1983, featuring in one test match against New Zealand.
Tom Rooney Award
Former Munster Rugby CEO, Garett Fitzgerald has been honoured with the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Tom Rooney Award.
Fitzgerald, who sadly passed away in February 2020, was a fantastic ambassador for rugby in Ireland and oversaw Munster’s most successful period, with two European Champions Cups in 2006 and 2008, three Celtic Leagues titles, in 2003, 2009 and 2011, and a Celtic Cup in 2005 during Fitzgerald’s time as Munster Rugby’s CEO.
Ireland Men’s Sevens star, Jordan Conroy was awarded Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Men’s 7’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. He was the top try scorer, and named in the World Series Dream Team.
Retiring Women’s Sevens player, Louise Galvin is this year’s Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Women’s 7’s Player of the Year. The Kerry native, called time on her career in October 2020, having played in 96 World Series games for her country, scoring 22 tries.
Club of the year
Ballynahinch Rugby Football Club, who emerged as 2019 All Ireland League Champions, was named the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Club of the Year.
Ballynahinch was recognised with the award for the club’s outstanding community outreach work during the first Covid-19 lockdown, a community spirit nurtured from minis through to seniors.