Sexton and Aki up for Player of the Year Award

Sexton and Aki up for Player of the Year Award

Johnny Sexton and Bundee Aki are among the top contenders for the 2023 Guinness Rugby Writers Ireland Men's XV’s Player of the Year Award.

Sexton, who recently retired after the Rugby World Cup in France, earned his nomination for captaining the team to a Six Nations Grand Slam. The 38-year-old also achieved a milestone by surpassing Ronan O'Gara's long-standing points record with the national side, ending his illustrious career with 1108 points in the Irish jersey.

Aki, also in the running for the award, was previously shortlisted for the world player of the year in October. The 33-year-old surpassed 50 caps for Ireland in 2023 and stood out as the top Irish player at the World Cup, scoring five tries and playing every minute of the campaign.

Joining them on the list of nominees are Caelan Doris, the Rugby Players Ireland men's player of the year in May, along with Andrew Porter and Hugo Keenan.

In the women's XV category, recently retired Nichola Fryday is nominated alongside players such as Neve Jones, the players' player of the year, new co-captain Sam Monaghan, as well as Deirbhile Nic a Bháird and Aoife Dalton.

Despite a challenging Six Nations, the women's team ended the season on a positive note with their WXV3 victory in the autumn.

For the Sevens category, Mark Roche, Harry McNulty, and Jack Kelly are the contenders for men's Sevens player of the year, while Lucy Mulhall, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, and Emily Lane are vying for the women's Sevens prize.

Both Sevens sides are shortlisted for the team of the year award, alongside the men's XVs team, the Ireland U20s who reached the Junior World Cup final, and BKT URC champions Munster.

The winners of these prestigious awards will be announced in early January.