JAMES COUGHLAN scooped the Munster Rugby Player of the Year award but insisted a Magners League title was the prize that mattered most.
Coughlan, who edged out Keith Earls, Doug Howlett and Ronan O’Gara for the accolade at the Munster Rugby Awards in association with the Irish Examiner spoke of his surprise at the honour.
Coughlan admitted: “I’m shocked because being in with two Lions and an All Black, I wasn’t expecting to win an award. I’m very proud. However, it’s all about the team and we’ve three weeks left now and we really want to win the Magners League.”
Back row Coughlan, 30, enjoyed a stellar campaign with 23 appearances and the Corkman captained the side to a famous 15-6 victory over the Wallabies at Thomond Park last November.
He continued: “Beating Australia out here in the lashing rain was a big one but I think every time you put on the jersey is special.
Another hero of the win over Australia was second row Ian Nagle, who added to his man of the match award from that game with the Young Player of the Year award.
Scrum-half Conor Murray earned the John McCarthy Award for Academy Player of the Year having been nominated alongside Dave O’Callaghan, Cathal Sheridan and Mike Sherry.
Tralee’s Siobhan Fleming capped a fine season in which she helped Munster to a fifth straight interprovincial title and broke into the Ireland squad when she won the women’s player of the year award.
Two awards went to Tipperary with Rockwell College named School of the Year and Cashel RFC Junior Club of the Year. e Clare’s Ennis RFC were honoured as the Club Mini Section of the Year and Waterpark RFC took the Club Youth Section award back to Waterford. The Hall of Fame award went to Tom Nesdale who played for Munster against the 1958 Australians at Thomond Park and also faced the South Africans in 1960.
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