The Ulster Bank League Awards will take place at the Aviva Stadium tonight for their annual end of season showcase recognising the outstanding club talent there is throughout all five divisions of the league.
Ireland’s Grand Slam winning head coach Joe Schmidt will be present on the night to present the awards to the winners across the 16 different categories.
This year will also see the introduction of a new category, the ‘#UBL Try of the Season’, recognising the winners of the #UBL Try of the Month throughout this year’s Ulster Bank League. The competition has proven to be a real winner on social media with clubs widely sharing and backing their own players best efforts.
Lansdowne celebrated victory over Cork Constitution following a thrilling Ulster Bank League Division 1A final at the same venue two weeks ago and both sides are well represented in the nominees.
Now in its sixth year, the Ulster Bank League Awards have become a popular fixture on the Irish rugby calendar and an event which celebrates the exceptional talents of the grassroots game in Ireland.
The high standard showcased throughout the Ulster Bank League season continues to show that the league provides an essential platform for the stars of the future.
“It has been another unforgettable season of club rugby in the Ulster Bank League and one which has once again showcased the extremely high standard of grassroots rugby in Ireland,” said Carol McMahon, Head of Business Marketing and Sponsorship.
“Ulster Bank is very proud to support these clubs and players, who dedicate their time, their talent and their weekends to ensure that rugby continues to thrive at a national, provincial and local level. The awards recognise and celebrate the dedication, commitment and hard work shown by players, coaches and volunteers who continue to grow the game at grassroots level and make the league a significant component of the sporting calendar.”
In recent years the Ulster Bank League Awards have recognised some of Ireland’s rugby stars of the future. Current Irish internationals Joey Carberry and Jordan Larmour were nominated in 2016 and 2017 respectively with Carberry picking up the Rising Star of the Year award for his performances for Clontarf in the 2015/16 season.
Once again, the Provincial Player of the Year awards will be chosen by public vote with the shortlist nominated by an expert judging panel of pundits Donn O’Sullivan (Limerick Leader), Richard Mulligan (The Newsletter), John Mulligan (Galway Bay FM) and Chairman of the Ulster Bank League Nicholas Comyn.
Lansdowne lead the pack at this year’s awards following a terrific season which saw them finish top of Division 1A and also seize an emphatic win against a five in a row winning Cork Constitution to lift their first Bateman Cup trophy since 1931. The Dublin club are also guaranteed to pick up at least one award as Scott Deasy will be awarded as the Ulster Bank League Top Points scorer finishing the season with 219 points while Garryowen’s Liam Coombes will be presented with the Top Try Scorer of the Season award closing his campaign with 11 tries.
Ulster Bank backed up their support of the game at grassroots level by touring the country last month with the ‘Help for What Matters Rugby Club Roadshow. Sport for Business were proud to be a part of that bringing insight on sponsorship and community building alongside insight from 2Into3 on fundraising and grant application to clubs in Belfast, Galway and Limericjk as well as in events in Cork Con and Lansdowne.