Both Ballynahinch Rugby Club and Trevor Ringland have received accolades in this year’s Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Awards.
Ballynahinch Rugby Football Club, who topped Division 1B of the All Ireland League in 2019, was named the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Club of the Year. The club 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.
The Co. Down club spent much of the domestic rugby shutdown period delivering food parcels, donating refreshments to emergency services and fund-raising for mental health services.
Read about Ballynahinch’s story, ‘Supporting the Community’ here.
British & Irish Lion, Ireland, Ulster and Ballymena’s Trevor Ringland has been inducted into the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame, alongside Ireland, Leinster and UL Bohemians’ Fiona Coghlan. Ringland, who played for Ireland 34 times between 1981 and 1988, was a member British and Irish Lions squad in 1983, featuring in one test match against New Zealand.
Read about Trevor Ringland’s Lions experience here.
Ringland’s Hall of Fame counterpart, Fiona 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.
Ireland and Leinster Centre, Garry Ringrose was named Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Men’s Player of The Year acknowledging an impressive and consistent 2019/2020 season for both club and country.
Béibhinn Parsons was awarded Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Women’s Player of The Year following her breakthrough season in 2019/2020.
The Ballinasloe Winger enjoyed a tremendous season with the Ireland Women’s Team, and balancing international rugby with her studies, Parsons scored three tries during the 2020 Women’s Six Nations.
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.
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, which 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.
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. Another excellent season for Conroy saw him crowned Top Try Scorer, and named in the World Series Dream Team, cementing his reputation as one of the best 7s players in the world during Ireland’s first season on the World Series.
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.