The Sean O'Brien Hall of Fame Award winner, Roger Anderson of Athy RFC, centre, is presented his award by Leinster Rugby player Sean O'Brien, left, and John Smith of BEST Mens Wear
Roger Anderson of Athy RFC has been named as winner of the Sean O’Brien Hall of Fame award at a lunch in the Ballsbridge Hotel last week.
The lunch was a warm-up event for the Leinster v Ulster Guinness PRO14 clash in the RDS. MC for the day was Philip Lawlor and this year the guest speaker was Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt.
Philip is the Domestic Rugby Manager in Leinster with responsibility for rugby development in the province. He played as No.8 for Leinster from 1988-1994 and was part of the Ireland squad from 1990-1994 and was capped on three occasions for Ireland.
It was fitting to have Joe Schmidt as guest speaker at this celebration of junior rugby in Leinster. Joe’s first foray into Irish rugby was as player-coach for Mullingar RFC in the early nineties.
Who could have predicted then, all that Irish rugby would go on to achieve under Joe Schmidt. In his five years at the helm of the Irish Rugby team, Joe has led them to three Six Nations Championship titles including a Grand Slam as well as two wins over New Zealand.
Lorcan Balfe, President of Leinster Rugby, presented Joe Schmidt with a commemorative bronze sculpture, on behalf of all the clubs of Leinster, in acknowledgement of all he has done for Irish rugby.
The organisers were also delighted to have Leinster and Ireland player Sean O’Brien at the lunch.
Nine trophies were showcased on the day, the European Cup & PRO14 trophy, All Ireland Junior Interprovincial Cup, the Provincial Towns Cup & Plate, the Metropolitan Cup & Plate, Leinster League D1 Cup and the Metro League D1 Cup. Nine trophies, representing Leinster’s top junior rugby competitions and Leinster’s “From The Ground Up” policy.
The six nominees for the Sean O’Brien Hall of Fame Award were nominated from each of the areas that make up Leinster Rugby together with a nominee from the junior ranks in senior rugby:
Midlands Area Nominee: Liam Holt, Edenderry RFC
North East Area Nominee: Colm Sherlock, Skerries RFC
Metropolitan Area Nominee: Eamonn O’Grady, Garda RFC
Senior Clubs Nominee: Anthony Larkin, MU Barnhall RFC
South East Area Nominee: Tommy Doyle, Carlow RFC
North Midlands Area Nominee: Roger Anderson, Athy RFC.