23 November 2023

~5 minutes read

Bundee Aki Nominated for Guinness Rugby Writers Award

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Bundee Aki Nominated for Guinness Rugby Writers Award

Connacht’s Bundee Aki has been nominated for the Guinness Rugby Writers Men’s Player of the Year.

The Lions centre will go up against Caelon Doris, Hugo Keenan, Johnny Sexton and Andrew Porter for the award.


Grand Slam winners and Champions Cup finalists Caelan Doris, Hugo Keenan, Johnny Sexton, and Andrew Porter are joined by World Rugby Player of the year nominee Bundee Aki on the shortlist for the 2023 Guinness Rugby Writers Ireland Men’s XV’s Player of the Year Award. 

Following a challenging start to their 2023 campaign for an inexperienced Irish Women’s XVs, resilience and determination became the resounding character trait of several players including this year’s Women’s XV’s player of the year nominees; Sam Monaghan, Nichola Fryday, Neve Jones, Deirbhile Nic a Bháird, and Aoife Dalton, who topped their season by winning the inaugural WXV3 tournament in Dubai last October.

The Ireland men’s XV team, Munster’s men’s team, Ireland U20’s, Ireland women’s 7s, and Ireland men’s 7’s have all been nominated for the prestigious Dave Guiney Team of the Year accolade. The Ireland men’s XV team claimed their 4th Grand Slam title in March, while the Ireland U20s team won their 5th Grand Slam and reached the U-20 World Cup Final, showcasing the success at all levels on the international stage this season. The Munster men’s XV have also been nominated for taking home URC silverware for the first time in 12 years, following their United Rugby Championship campaign, after 3 successive away victories in the Quarter Final, Semi Final and Final, where they came over the Stormers in South Africa.

Rounding out the nominees for the Team of the Year; the Ireland women’s 7s team had a historic season securing qualification for Paris 2024, while the final nominees, the Irish men’s 7’s secured their Olympic spot for their 2nd Olympics, having picked up bronze in the Rugby 7s World Cup. Whilst the preparations for the Olympics remain the focus, it has been a hugely positive year for the Irish 7’s programme. The nominees for Ireland men’s 7s Player of the year include Mark Roche, Harry McNulty, and Jack Kelly. The Women’s 7’s Player of the Year nominees see last year’s winner Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe returning to the shortlist alongside teammates Lucy Mulhall and Emily Lane.

Commenting on the nominee announcement, Head of Partnerships for Diageo, Rory Sheridan said: “This season has really demonstrated the strength of Irish Rugby and with strong, competitive successes and performances across all levels and teams. I would like to congratulate all of those who have been nominated today by the Rugby Writers of Ireland, and to recognise the achievements of the wider squads who have been acknowledged for their success with their respective teams. It is fantastic to see the scale and breadth of our nominees across all our provinces, and to get to recognise their commitment and contribution to the sport throughout the season. We would like to congratulate them all and wish them the very best of luck on what will be a very enjoyable evening.” 

Rúaidhrí O’Connor, Chair of the Rugby Writers of Ireland added; “As Chair of the Rugby Writers, I would like to congratulate all the players and teams nominated for this year’s Guinness Rugby Writers Awards and we look forward to celebrating them in person. It has been a memorable year on all fronts, from the Grand Slam successes of the senior men’s and U-20s teams, Ireland’s unforgettable run through the Rugby World Cup, the provinces competing deep into the season with Munster claiming the URC in May, the Sevens sides qualifying for Paris and the women’s side building their way back after a difficult period to win the WXV3 tournament. We’re delighted to acknowledge these achievements and thank each of our nominees for their ongoing contribution to Irish rugby. My special thanks to Guinness for their unwavering support as sponsor of these awards, which has spanned over two decades.”   

Ireland’s Bundee Aki scores Ireland’s third try against Italy in the Six Nations in Rome despite Stephen Varney ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

List of 2023 Guinness Rugby Writers Award Nominees –  

– Men’s Player of the Year  

Bundee Aki

Caelan Doris

Hugo Keenan

Johnny Sexton

Andrew Porter


– Women’s Player of the Year 

Sam Monaghan

Nichola Fryday

Neve Jones

Deirbhile Nic a Bháird

Aoife Dalton


– Dave Guiney Team of the Year

Ireland senior men’s XV

Munster men’s XV

Ireland U20s

Ireland women’s 7s

Ireland men’s 7s


– Men’s 7’s Player of the Year

Mark Roche

Harry McNulty

Jack Kelly


– Women’s 7’s Player of the Year

Emily Lane

Lucy Mulhall

Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe

Ireland’s Bundee Aki ©INPHO/James Crombie

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