RUGBY: Ruan Pienaar named Ulster ‘personality of the year’

Pat Maher presents the Heineken Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year Award to Ruan Pienaar

Pat Maher presents the Heineken Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year Award to Ruan Pienaar

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Ruan Pienaar was crowned as Heineken Personality of the Year at Ulster Rugby’s annual Awards Dinner, which was held at Aquinas Grammar School on Saturday evening.

The hugely popular South African, who will leave the Province after next month’s game against the Barbarians, was among 16 winners at the event, which celebrates rugby at all levels across Ulster.

Ruan was acknowledged for his contribution to Ulster Rugby - on and off the field - over the past seven years. During that stint his performances, commitment and pride in the jersey have made him a true favourite among teammates, coaches, staff and supporters.

Pienaar, unsurprisingly, also won the Ulster Rugby Supporters Club Player of the Year.

Charles Piutau picked up the Bank of Ireland Player of the Year award, while Jacob Stockdale was BT Young Player of the Year.

Roger Wilson, who will also move on from Kingspan Stadium next month, received a special award for finishing his Ulster career as its most capped player, having made 221 appearances.

AWARD WINNERS:

Hughes Insurance Academy Player of the Year

Ross Kane

SONI Community Rugby Champion Awards

John Curry (Randalstown RFC)

Gary McFarlane (Larne RFC)

Referee of the Year

Jonny Erskine

The Errigle Inn Women’s Player of the Year

Ilse van Staden (Cooke RFC)

Ulster U18 Girls Player of the Year

Neve Jones (Malone RFC)

Ulster Carpets Youth Player of the Year

Jack McIntosh (Rainey Old Boys RFC)

Danske Bank Schools’ Player of the Year

Michael Lowry (RBAI)

Dorrington B Faulkner Award (sponsored by Perennials RFC)

Dr Johnnie Neary

Ken Goodall Outstanding Club Player of the Year

Tommy O’Hagan (Rainey Old Boys RFC)

Kukri Sports Club of the Year

Ballynahinch RFC

Ulster Rugby Supporters Club Player of the Year

Ruan Pienaar

Rugby Writers’ Player of the Year

Sean Reidy

BT Young Player of the Year

Jacob Stockdale

Bank of Ireland Ulster Player of the Year

Charles Piutau

Heineken Ulster Rugby Personality of the Year

Ruan Pienaar