IRUPA - the Irish Rugby Union Player's Association - released their nominees for their annual awards today. The awards are the most prestigious in Irish rugby circles each year, and there are some bizarre exclusions in the nominees.
For the main award, there are four nominees each year - one from each province. This year the nominees are Jack McGrath, CJ Stander, Rory Best, and Robbie Henshaw.
Given the relatively poor season that the majority of Irish rugby had, especially in relation to the comparatively excellent season from Connacht Rugby - it seems unusual to pick a player who played just one more game more for his province than he did for Ireland. The likes of Denis Buckley, Bundee Aki, and Matt Healy can feel hard done by for not being included - as can Paddy Jackson and Luke Marshall for Ulster.
For the IRUPA young player of the year award - there are three nominees. Garry Ringrose, Josh van der Flier, and Stuart McCloskey are all recognised for brilliant seasons. It might be harsh to leave out Rory Scannell, Ross Molony, and Ultan Dillane - but the three nominated were the best three young players over the full course of the season.
Finally, the try of the season category has one standout nominee next to two very fine tries from perenial contender Craig Gilroy and Matt Healy. Which one of these beauties should win the coveted award?