Garry Ringrose beats James Ryan and John Cooney to Irish Player of the Year 3 years ago

Garry Ringrose beats James Ryan and John Cooney to Irish Player of the Year

This one needed an honest broker to settle the tie-break.


As part of their end of year awards, on Baz & Andrew's House of Rugby [from 15:00 below]Barry Murphy, Andrew Trimble and Jerry Flannery were tasked with selecting their Irish Player of the Year, as well as handing out the 'Young Player of the Year' accolade, and others.

On the count of three, the lads all called out the name of their best player from the past 12 months. This is how it played out:

  • James Ryan (Jerry Flannery's pick)
  • John Cooney (Andrew Trimble's)
  • Garry Ringrose (Barry Murphy's)

It was left to myself, as show producer, to cast the deciding vote. Ringrose got the nod and it met with no complaints from Trimble and Flannery, who said, "Garry Ringrose was fecking awesome all year."


Ryan was the unanimous winner of the first ever Baz & Andrew's House of Rugby 'Player of the Yeat' prize in 2018 and he came very close to repeating the dose. Cooney may have ben under-used by Joe Schmidt at the national level but he has been consistently excellent for Ulster since signing for them in 2017.

Looking back on 2019 and Ringrose was one of the most consistent performers for Leinster and Ireland. He scored eight tries in 11 Leinster outings, including one in the Guinness PRO14 final against Glasgow Warriors and two Champions Cup hat-tricks this season. There were two tries and two try assists in 11 Test appearances for Ireland and while he predominantly wore No.13, there were appearances at fullback and wing and he was deputy outhalf for the World Cup warm-up loss to England.


He was turned over close to the Saracens tryline in the 2018/19 Champions Cup final - giving up a great scoring opportunity - but proved he had learned from his mistake in that PRO14 final triumph over Glasgow.

It was in Japan that Ringrose established to all watchers that he should be Ireland's outside centre for the next stretch of years. He was excellent against Scotland, started like a train against Japan and was one of the better performers against Russia before being rested for the win over Samoa. He was one of the few Irish players to emerge from the quarter final smoking by New Zealand with some credit, at least.

2020 will hopefully see Andy Farrell stick with Ringrose throughout the Guinness Six Nations and find the midfield partner that suits him best. For Trimble, he would like to see Chris Farrell at 12 with Ringrose outside him.

Young Player of the Year


The players mentioned here were Fineen Wycherley and Shane Daly of Munster, Conor Fitzgerald of Connacht and the Leinster trio of Jordan Larmour, Max Deegan and Caelan Doris were all mentioned. However, the accolade went north... albeit to a Dubliner.

Eric O'Sullivan, who turned 24 in November, took the 'Young Player of the Year' prize after racking up 20 appearances (16 starts) at loosehead for Ulster.

O'Sullivan caught the eye of Ulster coaches while playing for Trinity College, in Dublin, and earned a call-up to their academy before making his senior debut at the age of 22 in September 2018. He has yet to look back and has already amassed 36 Ulster caps in just 16 months.




Barry Murphy, Andrew Trimble, and Jerry Flannery look back on the past year, dole out some awards - to Garry Ringrose, Eric O'Sullivan and more - while Producer Pat has also put together a 'Best Of' compilation from 2019.