Butler takes top honours at Connacht Rugby awards

Jarrad Butler took top honours in this year's Connacht Rugby awards, winning the coveted Players' Player of the Year Award.

In his first season with Connacht, having played Super Rugby in Australia, the openside flanker featured in 19 of Connacht's fixtures this year and claimed the award ahead of nominees Tom McCartney and Matt Healy.

Leo Galvin was the popular recipient of the Lifetime Contribution to Rugby award in recognition of his "inspiring commitment to his club, province and country".

The former Garbally College and UCD player enjoyed a stellar career on the field, and played for Ireland against Argentina in 1974. However his love for the game continued off the field and he went on to become president of both Athlone RFC and Connacht, was a driving force behind the club's amalgamation with Ballinasloe to form Buccaneers, and was a Connacht representative on the Irish Rugby Football Union's executive.

Ireland wing Alison Miller was named the Women's Player of the Year, Connacht outhalf Jack Carty won the Try of the Season for his try against Brive in December's European Challenge Cup fixture, while the Fans' Player of the Year was won by centre Tom Farrell.

Other awards winners at the awards dinner held at the Galmont Hotel were: Unsung Hero, Garrett and Majella Piggott; Academy Player of the Year, Paul Boyle; Coach of the Year, Ross Mannion (Sligo RFC ); Club of the Year, Ballina RFC; Senior Club Player of the Year, Martin Staunton (Buccaneers RFC ); Women's Club Player of the Year, Edel McMahon (Galwegians ); U18 Girls' Player of the Year, Kayley Mannion (Westport RFC ); Referee of the Year, Mark Fitzizgerald (Ballinrobe RFC ); Junior Club Player of the Year, Fergal Tully (Ballina RFC ); U19 Player of the Year, Colm Reilly (Buccaneers RFC ); U18 Player of Yaer, Darragh Murray (Buccaneers RFC ).

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