James Ryan and Ciara Griffin s...

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James Ryan and Ciara Griffin scoop Guinness Rugby Writers player awards


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James Ryan has been named the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Men’s Player of the Year for 2019 while the Women's Player of the Year award has been won by Ciara Griffin.

Ireland and Leinster second row, Ryan, had another brilliant season in which he cemented his reputation as one of the best second-rows in the world with a series of outstanding performances for club and country.

It was a mixed season for Ireland, after a maiden home win against New Zealand they disappointed in the Six Nations while Ryan was on the losing Leinster side in the Heineken Champions Cup final before winning the Guinness PRO14 title.

"We look back on the season, we've had some peaks and troughs both with Leinster and Ireland," said Ryan on receiving his award.

"There was some great memories along the way and some big wins. We wouldn't have got those big moments and big wins if it wasn't for the team effort that was put in."

The whole squad have been putting in a huge effort as they prepare for the Rugby World Cup in Japan this autumn.

They face Italy this Saturday in Dublin in the first warm-up match for the tournament and Ryan insists that it is not a game that any player can afford to take lightly.

"It's starts this Saturday with whoever plays against the Italians and then we've got a big game against England and two against Wales so it's important for myself and for everybody else, if you want to be on the plane, you've got to put in a commited and accurate performance."

Ireland's Ciara Griffin - ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Griffin (pictured) played in all of Ireland's Six Nations games where her on-field performances coupled with her leadership as captain ensuring she was the stand-out player for Ireland last season.

The Irish under-20 men's team were awarded the Dave Guiney Guinness Rugby Writers Team of the Year following their incredible Grand Slam in the Six Nations Championship.

This is the first year that awards were given to Ireland’s Sevens Players. Jordan Conroy was named the inaugural Men’s Sevens Player of the Year whilst Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe is the first Women’s Sevens Player of the Year.

Amee-Leigh was the top try scorer in the 2018/19 Women’s World Series and was named in the Women’s World Series Dream Team. Jordan’s try-scoring helped secure the Ireland’s men’s team a place on the World Series next year.

Cork Constitution, who emerged as 2019 All Ireland League Champions, were named Guinness Rugby Writers Club of the Year.

The club enjoyed an incredible season with the Senior XV winning 23 of their 26 matches claiming the All-Ireland League, Munster Senior Cup and the Cork Charity Cup.

British & Irish Lion, Ireland, Munster and Dolphin’s Michael Kiernan was inducted into the Guinness Rugby Writers Hall of Fame.

Kiernan, who played for Ireland 43 times, was a member of the Irish team that won the Triple Crown in 1982 and 1985.

Best remembered for his famous drop goal in Lansdowne Road that secured victory against England to win the 1985 Triple Crown, Kiernan toured with the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand in 1983.

He was also a member of Ireland’s team at the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987.


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