Irish Rugby
Shortlist revealed for top Ireland award
ESPN Staff
April 23, 2013
Ulster's Nick Williams is halted by Alastair Hargreaves, Saracens v Ulster, Heineken Cup, Twickenham, April 6, 2013
Bulldozing No.8 Nick Williams has been nominated for the Players' Player of the Year Award © Getty Images

The shortlist for the Irish Rugby Union Players' Association's Player of the Year has been announced with Leinster's Cian Healy, Ulster's Nick Williams and Munster's Simon Zebo all vying for the top honour.

The award is voted for by the players from the entire professional group from around Ireland. Healy has excelled for Ireland and Leinster while Williams has been one of Ulster's standout players in their charge to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals and the top of the RaboDirect PRO12. Zebo has been one of the season's most lethal wingers and has been mentioned as a possible bolter for the British & Irish Lions tour.

Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton, chairman of IRUPA, said: "Winning an IRUPA award, which is voted for by the players is a huge mark of respect for any rugby player. The Hibernia College Player of the Year award is particularly well regarded by the players, as it rewards consistency and skill at the highest level."

The winner will be announced on May 8 and also in line for some silverware are Connacht's Robbie Henshaw, Leinster's Ian Madigan and Luke Marshall from Ulster who have been nominated for the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year, named after the former Ulster centre who tragically died earlier this season.

© PA Photos

2013 IRUPA award nominations:

Hibernia College IRUPA Player's Player of the Year:
Cian Healy (Leinster)
Nick Williams (Ulster)
Simon Zebo (Munster)

Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year:
Robbie Henshaw (Connacht)
Ian Madigan (Leinster)
Luke Marshall (Ulster)

Volkswagen Try of the Year:
Craig Gilroy, Ireland v Argentina, autumn series
Iain Henderson, Saracens v Ulster, Heineken Cup
Simon Zebo, Ireland v Wales, Six Nations

Hibernia College Medal for Excellence:
Isaac Boss (Leinster)
Chris Henry (Ulster)
Marcus Horan (Munster)

BNY Mellon Hall of Fame:
Recipient to be announced on Wednesday, May 1

© PA Photos
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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