Rory Best was crowned as Heineken Personality of the Year at Ulster Rugby’s annual Awards Ceremony, which was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast on Thursday evening.
Stuart McCloskey was awarded Bank of Ireland Ulster Player of the Year and URSC Player of the Year after a superb season in the Guinness PRO14 and Heineken Champions Cup.
Best, who announced his retirement from club rugby at the end of this season, will bow out with a hugely impressive list of honours and will go down as a legend of the modern game, having spent 15 seasons at the top level.
Rory was acknowledged for his contribution to Ulster Rugby – on and off the field – as his performances, commitment and pride in the jersey have made him a true favourite among teammates, coaches, staff and supporters.
Marcell Coetzee, Eric O’Sullivan, Michael Lowry and Aaron Sexton also collected awards after excelling this season.
Claire McLaughlin was awarded the Deloitte Ulster Women’s Player of the Year, while Zara Flack (Enniskillen Royal Grammar School) was the first ever recipient of the Danske Bank Girls Schools’ Player of the Year award.
In addition, five players were presented with honours caps for reaching appearance milestones in the past 12 months; Rob Herring (150), Andrew Warwick (100), Iain Henderson (100), Stuart McCloskey (100) and Sean Reidy (100).
2019 HEINEKEN ULSTER RUGBY AWARDS DINNER NOMINEES
(winners in bold)
Ulster Carpets Youth Player of the Year
Phil Campbell (Ballymena RFC)
Ben Moxham (Ballymena RFC)
Matthew Sands (City of Armagh RFC)
Danske Bank Boys Schools’ Player of the Year
Nathan Doak (Wallace High School)
Conor Rankin (Campbell College Belfast)
Tom Stewart (Belfast Royal Academy)
Danske Bank Girls Schools’ Player of the Year
Mya Alcorn (Loreto Letterkenny)
India Daley (Enniskillen Royal Grammar School)
Zara Flack (Enniskillen Royal Grammar School)
SONI Real Rugby Heroes Award (Adult Category)
Victor Kearney (Donegal Town RFC)
David Workman (Ballynahinch RFC)
SONI Real Rugby Heroes Award (Youth Category)
Heather Thornton (Rainey Old Boys RFC)
Jeremy Worth (Letterkenny RFC)
Dorrington B Faulkner Award
Ken Goodall Club Player of the Year
Ross Adair (Ballynahinch RFC)
Conall Boomer (Ballynahinch RFC)
Neil Faloon (City of Armagh RFC)
Kerr’s Tyres Referee of the Year
Kukri Sports Club of the Year
Queen’s University RFC
Rainey Old Boys RFC
Ulster U18 Girls Player of the Year
Katie Hetherington (Cooke RFC)
Kelly McCormill (Cooke RFC)
Lisa Mullen (Virginia RFC)
Abbey Insurance Academy Player of the Year
CD Group Ulster A Player of the Year
Ulster Rugby Supporters Club Player of the Year
Rugby Writers’ Player of the Year
BT Young Player of the Year
Deloitte Ulster Women’s Player of the Year
Neve Jones (Malone RFC)
Maeve Liston (Cooke RFC)
Claire McLaughlin (Old Belvedere RFC)
Bank of Ireland Ulster Player of the Year
Heineken Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year