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Zero recognition for Munster in Guinness PRO14 Awards 2017/18

THERE was no joy for Munster players after the Guinness PRO14 Awards for the 2017/18 season were handed out at the Season Launch Party at The Argyle Street Arches in Glasgow tonight.
Munster’s new signing, Tadhg Berne (pictured), was awarded the Guinness Players’ Player of the Season while playing with the Llanelli Scarlets. The Ireland international was overwhelmingly recognised by his fellow players for his displays for the Scarlets which saw them reach the Guinness PRO14 Final.
Surprisingly, Munster had nobody included in the Dream Team.
Both the Young Player of the Season and Dream Team were voted on by a 75-strong media panel from across Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and South Africa.
With the Awards moving into the build-up of the new season this allowed voting processes that included over 75 media and the teams more time to choose their nominations across a number of award categories.
Two new awards were also introduced – the Guinness PRO14 Ironman award and the Guinness PRO14 Tackle Machine award which are aimed at recognising the Championship’s key contributors.
After Leinster Rugby became the first team from the Championship to complete a Guinness PRO14 and Champions Cup double, the Irish province captured three of the awards on the night. Head Coach Leo Cullen took home the Guinness PRO14 Coach of the Season award, Jordan Larmour won the Honda Young Player of the Season while Barry Daly was recognised as the Championship’s top try scorer for last season.
Leinster also saw five players voted onto the Guinness PRO14 Dream Team: Andrew Porter, Scott Fardy, Jack Conan, James Lowe and Larmour.
Former Dragons back-row Ed Jackson received the Guinness PRO14 Chairman’s Award in recognition of his recovery from a serious spinal injury and subsequent charity work. Jackson, 29, was forced to retire from the game last year and has since recovered to the point where he has climbed Snowdon mountain in Wales for charity. Jackson was presented his award by Gerald Davies CBE, Chairman of the Guinness PRO14, who commended him for his terrific spirit in the face of adversity.
Former Toyota Cheetahs’ fly-half Fred Zeilinga won the Gilbert Golden Boot with his accuracy of 85.37% outshining all of the other place kickers (who had a minimum of 30 attempts at goal) in the Guinness PRO14 in 2017/18.
Olly Robinson of the Cardiff Blues was the first winner of the Guinness PRO14 Tackle Machine Award. Players who made 200 successful tackles or more were eligible and the award was given to the player with the highest completion percentage. Robinson made a total of 243 tackles with a tackle completion rate of 94.6% (Opta).
The first-ever Guinness PRO14 Ironman Award went to Giulio Bisegni of Zebre Rugby Club. The award recognises the player who accumulated the most minutes on the pitch across the 21 regular season rounds. The Italian international’s total of 1504 minutes earned him the award.
The Specsavers FairPlay award was won by Scarlets who picked up just two yellow cards across the
entire Guinness PRO14 campaign in 2017/18.
List of Award Winners
Guinness Players’ Player of the Season: Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets)
Guinness PRO14 Coach of the Season: Leo Cullen (Leinster Rugby)
Honda Young Player of the Season: Jordan Larmour (Leinster Rugby)
Guinness PRO14 Chairman’s Award: Ed Jackson (Dragons)
Gilbert Golden Boot Award: Fred Zeilinga (Toyota Cheetahs)
Guinness PRO14 Dream Team Captain: Callum Gibbins (Glasgow Warriors)
Guinness PRO14 Top Try Scorer: Barry Daly (Leinster Rugby)
Guinness PRO14 Tackle Machine: Olly Robinson (Cardiff Blues)
Guinness PRO14 Ironman: Giulio Bisegni (Zebre Rugby Club)
Specsavers FairPlay Award: Scarlets
Guinness PRO14 Dream Team 2017/18
The Guinness PRO14 Dream Team was named after over 75 media (including former players and coaches) were involved in the voting. To be eligible players had to have made at least 9 appearances in the 2017/18 season.
Last season’s finalists Leinster Rugby and Scarlets dominated the voting with five players each selected. Glasgow Warriors earned two representatives with back row Callum Gibbins nominated as the Dream Team captain and Nick Grigg winning a place in the midfield. Torsten van Jaarsveld (Toyota Cheetahs), John Cooney (Ulster Rugby) and Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) made up the final places.
1 Rob Evans – Scarlets
2 Torsten van Jaarsveld – Toyota Cheetahs
3 Andrew Porter – Leinster Rugby
4 Scott Fardy – Leinster Rugby
5 Tadhg Beirne – Scarlets
6 Aaron Shingler – Scarlets
7 Callum Gibbins – Glasgow Warriors, captain
8 Jack Conan – Leinster Rugby
9 John Cooney – Ulster Rugby
10 Rhys Patchell – Scarlets
11 James Lowe – Leinster Rugby
12 Hadleigh Parkes – Scarlets
13 Nick Grigg – Glasgow Warriors
14 Jordan Larmour – Leinster Rugby
15 Blair Kinghorn – Edinburgh Rugby.

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