Earls and Murray nominated for Player of the Year award

Keith Earls and Conor Murray have been nominated for the Zurich Players' Player of the Year award. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Munster duo Keith Earls and Conor Murray are among the nominees up for the Zurich Players’ Player of the Year award for 2018.

Both have been rewarded by their peers for some stunning displays for province and country this season. The other nominees are Leinster’s Tadhg Furlong and Johnny Sexton. The ceremony takes place on Wednesday, May 16 at the Clayton Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin.

Earls is arguably in the best form of his career this season, while Murray has continued the excellent form that saw him earn this award last season.

Having received the nomination, Earls said: “It’s an honour to be nominated by my fellow players for the 2018 Zurich Players’ Player of the Year Award, alongside my teammates and friends.

“Tadgh, Conor and Johnny have had stand out performances so I’m delighted to be there alongside them. Whilst it’s fantastic to be celebrating some fantastic moments this season like the Grand Slam, we’re conscious that we’ve got the closing stages of the Guinness Pro14 ahead – there’s still a lot to play for.

“To see so many exceptional young players shortlisted for the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year Award really points to a strong future for Irish rugby – and even bigger and better seasons ahead.”

Ireland captain and Munster star Ciara Griffin is up for the BNY Women’s XV Player of the Year award along with Katie Fitzhenry and Claire Molloy.

Former Munster player Duncan Casey (now with French side Grenoble) has been nominated for the Vodafone Medal of Excellence award which recognises exceptional commitment to rugby both on and off the field.