Although this was recognised as the correct decision for health and safety reasons, the disappointment at a job half completed was palpable.
The players, clubs, volunteers, and fans though will now get a chance to celebrate the months of domestic rugby that did take place with the decision made to host the annual Energia All Ireland League Rugby Awards virtually.
The awards will take place at 8 PM on Friday 8th May and will be hosted by Irish actor, broadcaster, comedian and the voice of Gift Grub, Mario Rosenstock.
It will be broadcast across Energia’s YouTube and Facebook channels.
Rosenstock will be joined virtually by some special guests including Energia ambassador Jordan Larmour to present the awards.
“In our first season as title sponsor of the Energia All Ireland League we have been blown away by the pure passion and support of the game at all levels,” said Managing Director Gary Ryan.
“It is now more important than ever before that we celebrate, honour and recognise all those involved in the Energia AIL and highlight how that positive energy and community spirit can bring us all together both on and off the rugby pitch.”
“We at Energia are thrilled to still make this year’s awards something special for everyone and virtually celebrate all those players, coaches, fans and volunteers who have made such a difference to the league this past season.”
“Grassroot rugby is where it all begins for every player,” added Greg Barrett, Chairman of the IRFU Rugby Committee.
“Many of the players we see at provincial and national level have played in the AIL with their clubs. It is no secret that the Energia AIL has produced some incredible action and that was proven again with such a thrilling campaign this season.”
“We’re thoroughly looking forward to celebrating with everyone on Friday 8th as we recognise all those who have made an outstanding contribution to the game.”
This year’s Men’s and Women’s Try of the Year awards will be voted for by the public.
Other awards on the evening will include Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Women’s Player of the Year, Women’s Coach of the Year, Club Scene Award, Rising Star Awards for each division and the new Energia Positive Energy Award, which will be awarded to the team or player who has embraced the positive energy mentality and gone above and beyond for the league.