Ulster club success at the virtual AIL Awards

Ulster club success at the virtual AIL Awards
Women's AIL Rising Star Award-winner, Neve Jones

Rugby fans across Ireland logged on to watch the first virtual Energia All Ireland League Rugby Awards on Friday night to honour the award-winning players, coaches, tries and clubs for this year. Rugby in Ulster was well represented with three winners from the province.

The awards were presented online by comedian, Mario Rosenstock, to celebrate the best of Irish rugby. Contributions came from the biggest names in Irish rugby, including Peter O’Mahony, Keith Earls, Joey Carbery, Jordan Larmour, as well as coaches Andy Farrell, Adam Griggs, Richie Murphy and John Fogarty.

The winner of the Men’s Division 2A Rising Star Award – presented virtually by Munster and Ireland player, Joey Carbery – was Michael Orr from Queen’s University, for helping his side to third place in the league with some superb performances playing at full-back.

Malone’s Neve Jones collected the Women’s AIL Rising Star Award, presented by Ireland Women’s Head Coach, Adam Griggs. Jones started every game for Malone as well as finishing as a top try-scorer for the club this season. Her excellent form earned a call-up to the Ireland Women’s Six Nations squad in February and was due to make her debut against France before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

A new award on the night included the first ever Club Scene Award presented by The Club Scene Podcast. This award was presented to Ballynahinch RFC in Co. Down for creating a real sense of community throughout all levels of rugby – from the minis all the way through to the seniors – going to all lengths to welcome visiting clubs in, as well as bringing a strong support crew to any games around the country.

Commenting on the Energia AIL Awards, Greg Barrett, Chairman of the IRFU Rugby Committee said:

“On behalf of the IRFU, I would like to extend a hearty congratulations to the winner of each award, and my thanks to all at home who tuned in to this unique event. Furthermore, my thanks to Energia for their support and promotion of the Energia All Ireland League over the course of their first season as title sponsor. We look forward to continuing to work together over the coming years, and truly appreciate their efforts in delivering the Energia AIL Awards in these most unusual circumstances.”

Watch the full awards ceremony here

Full list of winners

Energia AIL Player of the Year

  • Energia Men’s AIL Player of the Year – Brian Hayes, Cork Constitution
  • Energia Women’s AIL Player of the Year – Hannah O’Connor, Blackrock College

Energia AIL Coach Of The Year

  • Energia Men’s AIL Coach of the Year – Brian Hickey, Cork Constitution
  • Energia Women’s AIL Coach of the Year – Fiona Hayes, UL Bohemian

Energia AIL Try Of The Season

  • Energia Men’s AIL Try of the Season – Kelvin Brown, Shannon RFC
  • Energia Women’s AIL Try of the Season – Alana McInerney, UL Bohemian

Energia AIL Rising Star

  • Energia Men’s AIL Division 1a Rising Star – Jack Crowley, Cork Constitution
  • Energia Men’s AIL Division 1b Rising Star – Pa Ryan, Shannon RFC
  • Energia Men’s AIL Division 2a Rising Star – Michael Orr, Queens University
  • Energia Men’s AIL Division 2b Rising Star – Oran McNulty, Galway Corinthians
  • Energia Men’s AIL Division 2c Rising Star – Nick Doyle, Enniscorthy
  • Energia Women’s AIL Rising Star – Neve Jones, Malone RFC

Energia AIL Positive Energy Award

  • Energia AIL Positive Energia Award – Railway Union RFC & Suttonians RFC

Energia AIL Club Scene Award

  • Club Scene Award – Ballynahinch RFC