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Munster's CJ Stander has been named Zurich IRUPA Players’ Player of the Year for 2016.
Born in South Africa, Stander earned a call-up to Joe Schmidt's Ireland squad for the RBS Six Nations and produced some fine performances, including a man-of-the-match debut against Wales.
Having been named Munster captain in the absence of the injured Peter O'Mahony, the 25-year-old has been a key member of Anthony Foley's squad and his good form at international and provincial level caught the eye of his peers, who voted him IRUPA Player of the Year.
“I’m delighted to win this award. Receiving recognition from my peers is the ultimate accolade,” Stander, who beat off competition from Rory Best, Robbie Henshaw and Jack McGrath , said.
“I will remember this season fondly, from winning my first cap, to scoring my first international try and ultimately winning this award."
Josh Van der Flier's fine season has resulted in him being named the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year 2016, while his Leinster team-mate Isaac Boss was awarded the Vodafone Medal for Excellence.
Ronan O’Gara has been inducted into the BNY Mellon IRUPA Hall of Fame.