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Leinster star named Bank of Ireland’s Men’s XVs Players’ Players of the Year



This evening, Caelan Doris has been named the Bank of Ireland’s Men’s XVs Players’ Players of the Year 2023 by his fellow players at the Rugby Players Ireland Awards.

Back-row forward Caelan Doris has had an outstanding rugby season, establishing himself as a rising star in the sport. As a key member of his team, Doris has played an integral role in both Ireland and Leinster’s success this season, contributing significantly to important victories throughout the season in both the green and the blue jerseys. Doris takes the achievement ahead of Leinster teammates Hugo Keenan, Dan Sheehen, and Connacht’s Mack Hansen.

On receiving his award Caelan Doris commented: “I am honoured to receive this recognition from my fellow players. Across the season, we rely on each other as teammates to be a strong support for one another, both on and off the field. To be acknowledged by them for any contribution I have made to their season is very special! It is fantastic to receive this award, but I want to acknowledge my teammates and fellow nominees – what a phenomenal season it has been for Irish rugby and Leinster Rugby and I’m excited to see what we are capable of achieving together in the coming days and months.”

The Bank of Ireland’s Women’s XVs Players’ Player of the Year 2023 as voted by members of the Ireland squad was awarded to Neve Jones following a stand-out season from the hooker. The award was accepted on Neve’s behalf by her teammates. Jones emerged as this year’s winner of the award, prevailing over strong competition from her fellow nominees, Ireland Captain Nichola Fryday and Deirbhile Nic a Bháird.

Jones’ outstanding achievements and contributions have been marked by excellent defensive skills and an impressive work rate ensuring she is equally effective on either side of the ball. Jones’ season was also characterised by her capabilities as a strong team player, always looking to support her teammates and contribute to the team’s overall success.

Speaking as she claimed the Players’ Player award, Jones said: “This has been a tough year for the team, but we have shown some great examples of our character and resilience. We are an extremely close team and are proud to back each other on the good and bad days. This award could go to anyone in the green jersey this season, so it really is an honour to be recognised and to be able to represent a fantastic group of players.”

The 2023 iZest Marketing Women’s XVs Young Player of The Year was awarded to Leinster’s Aoife Dalton with AIB Corporate Banking Women’s XVs Try of the Year being awarded to Ireland Captain Nichola Fryday for her score against Scotland in this year’s TikTok Six Nations. With captains clearly leading by example, Ireland 7s Captain Lucy Mulhall claims the TritonLake Women’s 7s Player of the Year.

Many of the biggest names in Irish rugby were present at the Clayton Hotel on the Burlington Road tonight for what was a celebration of the season’s highs and lows across all teams. Despite three strong contenders in the mix for the MSL Mercedes-Benz Dealerships’ Men’s XVs Try of the Year, it was Mack Hansen’s triumphant team try against South Africa during the Autumn Nations Series in November that prevailed to claim this year’s acknowledgement.

Further accolades were presented to Leinster Academy player Andrew Smith who was named as the TritonLake Men’s 7s Player of the Year 2023 for the first time. Leinster Rugby’s Alex Soroka’s outstanding contribution through fundraising for the Ukrainian effort was also recognised in his winning of the Zurich Contribution to Irish Society Award, while Munster’s Jack Crowley was presented with the Nevin Spence Men’s Young Player of the Year Award. This year marks the eleventh anniversary of Nevin’s passing.

Amongst those in attendance tonight was Johnny Sexton who accepted the Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort Moment of the Year Award on behalf of The Irish Rugby Team for the Guinness Six Nations Grand Slam.

Images & Content from Leinster Rugby


Fourie and Orie return for Vodacom URC Grand Final



Springbok forwards Deon Fourie and Marvin Orie make their return to the DHL Stormers team for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship Grand Final against Munster at DHL Stadium on Saturday.

Both players missed the semifinal due to injury, but will take their places in the DHL Stormers starting line-up for the showpiece match, which kicks off at 18h30 on Saturday.

Tickets for this match sold out in a matter of hours last week, so there will be a capacity crowd and heavy traffic congestion in the area. Please plan to get to DHL Stadium at least three hours before kick-off.

Spectators are urged to park remotely and catch a free MyCiTi bus from the UCT, Century City, CTICC or Civic Centre and Thibault Square bus stations

Gates at DHL Stadium open at 15h30 ahead of kick-off at 18h30. The beer garden in the stadium will be open both before and after the game with a DJ playing live and plenty of activations for fans inside the stadium, so get there early to make sure you don’t miss any of the action. CLICK HERE for all you need to know ahead of the game.

The backline that started in the semifinal win against Connacht is unchanged, with Clayton Blommetjies on the bench in place of the injured Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

Fourie and Orie come in, which means that hooker Joseph Dweba and lock Ruben van Heerden are the only starting forwards that did not feature in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship Grand Final at DHL Stadium last season.

DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that it is a major boost to have the likes of Fourie and Orie back for the Grand Final.

“Both Deon and Marvin have been outstanding for us this season and they will add a lot both in terms of their ability and leadership on Saturday.

“We have a lot of respect for Munster, the truth is that we have never beaten them, so while we are thrilled to be playing at home we know it will be a big challenge against a good team.

“This will be the biggest crowd for any DHL Stormers match and it should be an amazing occasion for the team, our passionate supporters and the city of Cape Town.

“We are so grateful for the support that we enjoy and what this team means to so many people. We will do our best to soak up the atmosphere, enjoy every moment and play the kind of rugby that got us here,” he said.

DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ben-Jason Dixon, 20 Willie Engelbrecht, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Clayton Blommetjies.

Content & Images from – Stormers Rugby

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Champions Cup

Munster Rugby Departing Players Confirmed



Munster Rugby can confirm the full list of players who will depart the province at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

It was confirmed earlier this season that Malakai Fekitoa (Benetton) and Ben Healy (Edinburgh) will join new clubs ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Additionally, we can confirm that Liam O’Connor, Eoin O’Connor, Paddy Kelly, Oli Morris and Academy player Conor Phillips have completed their time at the province.

Eoin O’Connor will move abroad for a new playing opportunity.

Liam O’Connor has been advised to retire on medical grounds following successful surgery for a recent neck injury.

Paddy Kelly has retired from professional rugby on medical grounds due to a concussion sustained earlier in the season.

Paddy has received specialist medical care since the concussion, and despite all efforts, the decision to retire was made in the best interests of his long-term health.

Prop Liam O’Connor made 34 Munster appearances since his debut against Stade Francais in the Champions Cup in January 2016.

A product of the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy and former CBC student, O’Connor won the British & Irish Cup with Munster A in 2017.

He made 11 appearances in the first 12 games of the 2017/18 campaign but sustained a long-term knee injury against Ospreys in December 2017.

The Cork Constitution clubman helped Munster to a memorable victory over South Africa A at Páirc Uí Chaoimh earlier this season.

Eoin O’Connor came up through the Academy and was one of 12 players to make their senior Munster debuts in the Champions Cup win over Wasps in December 2021.

The former Waterpark RFC man moved up to the senior squad ahead of the 2022/23 season and made four senior appearances for Munster.

He has featured extensively for Young Munster in the AIL over the past number of years.

A former St Munchin’s College student, lock Paddy Kelly departs after one year as part of the senior squad having come through the Academy.

Centre Oli Morris departs after joining Munster in October when Worcester Warriors went into administration.

Winger Phillips departs after three years in the Academy that included two senior appearances. A former Crescent College student, he is also an Ireland 7s international and plays his club rugby with Young Munster.

Chris Farrell, James French and Dan Goggin all departed for new playing opportunities earlier this season.

A big thanks to all of our departing players for their contributions to Munster Rugby and we wish them all the best for the future.

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

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Munster v Barbarians Double-Header At Thomond Park



Munster Rugby will face the Barbarians at Thomond Park in a historic double-header for the province with the women’s and men’s squads facing respective invitational sides on Saturday, September 30.

The current Interprovincial Champions will get the action underway at 2pm while the men’s side will kick-off at 4.30pm.

A festival of rugby awaits in what will be a great family occasion for the Limerick venue, having last hosted the Barbarians in November 2017. It was on the same day that history was created as the first-ever Barbarian’s women’s fixture took place, with Munster providing the opposition.

While this will be the first time the men’s sides face each other, the world’s most famous invitation side previously played Tonga and Ireland on their visits to Thomond Park.

The occasion will see players secure valuable game-time ahead of the respective club seasons commencing with an exciting showcase of attacking, adventurous rugby in store for supporters.


Enjoy a fun-filled day of rugby at Thomond Park with double the action and double the value with our Family ticket packs starting from €40 for 2 Adults and 2 Children.

2023/24 MRSC members and 10-Year Ticket Holders will receive a 10% discount on all ticket categories for a limited time with further details emailed to priority groups.

Tickets are available to buy online here, or from the ticket offices at Musgrave Park and Thomond Park.

Season Tickets & MRSC Memberships for next season are available here.

Did you know?

October 17, 2009: Thomond Park previously hosted a provincial double-header with the women’s squad playing Ulster in the Interpros and the men’s squad playing Benetton Treviso in the Heineken Cup.

November 10, 2017: Thomond Park hosted a historic double-header of Barbarians matches with the Baa-baas men’s and women’s sides facing Tonga and Munster respectively.

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

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