City of Armagh’s Neil Faloon has been shortlisted for the Ulster ‘Player of the Year’, as well as the Ulster Bank Division 2B Player of the Year.
Players from five Ulster rugby clubs will battle it out for the top awards when they line out at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday, May 14 alongside club rugby stars from Connacht, Leinster and Munster in the 2015 Ulster Bank League Awards.
The awards, now in their third successive year, recognise and celebrate the dedication and commitment shown by players, coaches and teams across all Ulster Bank League Divisions. They will once again be presented by Irish international coach, Joe Schmidt.
Introduced in the 2012/2013 season, the awards have become an established event in the rugby calendar with a number of winners and nominees from the past two years even making the transfer to professional rugby including Craig Ronaldson, Jack Conan and Mick McGrath.
Local names featured on the shortlist are Ballynahinch’s Ross Adair who is shortlisted in both the Rising Star and Ulster Provincial Player of the Year categories, Sean Taylor from Ballymena, named in 1B Division Player of the Year with Armagh’s Neil Faloon making the shortlist in the 2B Division Player of the Year category. Sean and Neil also feature in the Ulster Provincial Player of the Year category along with Belfast Harlequin’s Frank Taggart. Queen’s University PROs Ryan Clarke and Keelan Durnien have been shortlisted in the Ulster Bank PRO of the Year.
Ulster Bank, Official Community Rugby Partner to the IRFU (Irish Rugby Football Union) this year introduced two new categories to the annual awards with 11 categories in total being awarded next week.
**Award winners will be announced in the following categories:
- Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 1A
- Ulster Bank Top Try Scorer – Division 1A
- Ulster Bank Top Points Scorer – Division 1A
- Ulster Bank Rising Star Award – Division 1A (Shortlist compiled from player chosen monthly)
- Ulster Bank Coach of the Year – Division 1A
- Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 1B
- Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 2A
- Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 2B
- Ulster Bank PRO of the Year
- Ulster Bank Provincial Player of the Year – Across all UBL divisions
- Ulster Bank Team of the Year – Across all UBL divisions
Speaking ahead of the Ulster Bank League Awards, Ulster Bank rugby ambassador, Alan Quinlan, said: “It has been another exciting year in the Ulster Bank League and all those nominated for the awards should be immensely proud of themselves as there is tough competition in each category.
These players have demonstrated why club rugby is so important across all divisions, from those in Division 1A who are pushing for spots in provincial teams to Division 2B with players who dedicate a huge amount for their local club. Supporting these players, and recognising and rewarding their talent, is vital for both the development of Irish rugby and Ireland’s club players.”
The Ulster Bank League Awards take place on Thursday 14th May in the Aviva Stadium. For more information go to www.facebook.com/ulsterbankrugby.
Shortlist of Ulster Bank League players as follows:
Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 1A
- Nominees: Aaron Conneely (Lansdowne), Matt D’Arcy (Clontarf), Kyle McCoy (Terenure)
Ulster Bank Coach of the Year — Division 1A
- Nominees: John Staunton (Young Munster), James Blayney (Terenure), Bobby Byrne (UCD)
Ulster Bank Rising Star Award – Division 1A
- Nominees: Cian Kelleher (Lansdowne), Tom Farrell (Lansdowne), Rory Scannell (Dolphin), Tomás Quinlan (Cork Con), Ross Adair (Ballynahinch)
Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 1B
- Nominees: John Cleary (Galwegians), Sean Taylor (Ballymena), Ed Rossiter (Garryowen)
Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 2A
- Nominees: Sean Coughlan (Blackrock), Ross MacAuley (Skerries), Ian Cassidy (Old Wesley)
Ulster Bank Player of the Year – Division 2B
- Nominees: Paul Stack (Highfield), Christy Condon (Midleton), Neil Faloon (Armagh)
Ulster Bank Team of the Year – Across all UBL Divisions
- Winner announced on the night
Ulster Bank PRO of the Year
- Nominees: Cian O’Higgins (Seapoint), Thomas O’Brien (Old Wesley), Ryan Clarke and Keelan Durnien (Queen’s University Belfast)
Ulster Bank Provincial Player of the Year – Across all UBL divisions (Public Vote)
- John Cleary (Galwegians)
- James Wilson (Sligo)
- Diarmuid Higgins (Buccaneers)
- Marc Kelly (Corinthians)
- Alan Large (Old Wesley)
- Brian du Toit (Dublin Uni)
- Ciaran Ruddock (St Mary’s)
- James O’Neill (Terenure)
- John Ed O’Connor (Cashel)
- Fintan O’Sullivan (Highfield)
- Ed Rossiter (Garryowen)
- Ger Slattery (Young Munster)
- Neil Faloon (Armagh)
- Frank Taggart (Belfast Harlequins)
- Sean Taylor (Ballymena)
- Ross Adair (Ballynahinch)