Robbie Henshaw named men’s player of the year by rugby writers

Béibhinn Parsons wins women’s award for the second year in a row

Robbie Henshaw has been announced as the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland men’s player of the year, thus augmenting his award as the Irish Rugby Players’ player of the year.

Béibhinn Parsons took the women’s award for the second year running. This achievement for the Ireland and Connacht star comes off the back of some immense performances during the 2020/2021 season.

“It’s a privilege to receive this award,” said Henshaw. “I know many great lads have won it before me. It’s great to be acknowledged and put into that category of players.

“Last year was a great season and for me personally, it was probably one of my most enjoyable seasons – considering the lack of fans in stadiums and stuff.”


The 28-year-old Leinster, Ireland and Lions centre also believes he can further improve his game.

“For me it’s constant improvement, looking at other centres or other players around the world to see what bits they’re bringing to the game and what they’re adding to their game.

“Leadership as well, I’m one of the older lads in the backline now so bringing that through is going to be key for me. There’s a range of things that I can keep improving on.”

Henshaw hasn’t played since the win over Connacht in early December, having been ruled out of the Bath game before Leinster suffered the cancellation of the Montpellier match and three subsequent URC postponements.

“It was a tough one to take,” Henshaw admitted of Montpellier’s second-round walkover, “but I know we just have to move on and do the best we can – 15 points is our target so we’ll look to add another 10 points in the next two weeks.”

Terry Kennedy was voted the Sevens player of the year, Leinster were named the Dave Guiney team of the year for the second year in a row, and Railway Union was awarded the club of the year for 2021 in recognition of the club’s development and promotion of women’s rugby.

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times