Munster and Ireland’s CJ Stander has been voted the Zurich IRUPA Players’ Player of the Year 2016 by his fellow players at the 14th annual awards ceremony.
The South African born Irish international had an outstanding debut season for his adopted country, earning his first cap in Ireland’s opening Six Nations draw against Wales where he was named man of the match. Stander continued this rich vein of form for the remainder of the campaign scoring his first international try against Italy. He was subsequently appointed Munster captain following injury to Peter O’Mahony and has been the stand out player for his province this season.
Standers performances didn’t go unnoticed by supporters either as he was also voted The Irish Times Supporters’ Player of the Year 2016.
On receiving the award Stander commented: “I’m delighted to win this award. Receiving recognition from my fellow peers is the ultimate accolade. I will remember this season fondly, from winning my first cap, to scoring my first international try and ultimately winning this award”.
Josh Van der Flier was named the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year 2016 after impressing all season for Leinster and excelling in his debut for Ireland against England in the Six Nations Championship.
Joining Ireland’s heroes in the BNY Mellon IRUPA Hall of Fame was Munster and Ireland Ronan O’Gara. Leinster’s Isaac Boss was awarded the Vodafone Medal for Excellence, which rewards on field effort combined with off field commitment to the game.
The Zurich Contribution to Irish Society was presented to former Leinster player, Niall Breslin, in recognition of the massive impact he has made in raising awareness of mental health and various other charities.