All Ireland League players and officials to be recognised by Ulster Bank

Ballynahinch's Ross Adair
Ballynahinch's Ross Adair

Local players from five Ulster rugby clubs will battle it out for the top awards when they line out at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday night alongside players from Connacht, Leinster and Munster in the 2015 Ulster Bank League Awards.

The awards, now in their third successive year, recognise and celebrate the dedication and commitment shown by players, coaches and teams across all Ulster Bank League Divisions.

They will once again be presented by Irish international coach, Joe Schmidt.

Introduced in the 2012/2013 season, the awards have become an established event in the rugby calendar with a number of winners and nominees from the past two years even making the transfer to professional rugby including Craig Ronaldson, Jack Conan and Mick McGrath.

Local names featured on the shortlist are Ballynahinch’s Ross Adair who is shortlisted in both the Rising Star and Ulster Provincial Player of the Year categories, Sean Taylor from Ballymena, named in 1B Division Player of the Year with Armagh’s Neil Faloon making the shortlist in the 2B Division Player of the Year category.

Taylor and Faloon and also feature in the Ulster Provincial Player of the Year category along with Belfast Harlequin’s Frank Taggart.

Queen’s University PROs Ryan Clarke and Keelan Durnien have been shortlisted in the Ulster Bank PRO of the Year.

Meanwhile, entries are open to rugby clubs Ulster Bank RugbyForce funding initiative once again. There is £10,000 available to the overall winners and £5000 for the Provincial winners.

Entries can be made at www.irishrugby.ie/ulsterbankrugbyforce with the closing date July 31.