Posted: 1 month ago

All the women’s, girls and club rugby winners as Brittany Hogan tops honours list in Heineken Ulster Rugby awards

Brittany with her player of the match award from Ireland's Six Nations win over Scotland INPHO/Ben Brady

FEMALE players figured prominently in the end of season Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards with Ireland international Brittany Hogan named Women’s Player of the Year. 

Sophie Barrett is the Women’s Young Player of the Year; Niamh Fulton the Danske Bank Schoolgirl Player of the Year; Erin McConalogue the Ulster Girls’ Youth Player of the Year and Civil Service RFC winners of the Ulster Rugby Foundation Community Impact Award.

Winners will be presented with their awards at a special event at the upcoming Ulster Rugby home pre-season fixture against Benetton Rugby on Saturday, September 7 at Kingspan Stadium.

Citations for the 2023/24 Heineken Ulster Rugby Award winners

Women’s Player of the Year – Brittany Hogan (Ballynahinch RFC / Old Belvedere RFC)

A key member of the Ulster Senior Women’s side and the Ireland national team, Brittany continues to shine for both province and country. The back-row player has nailed down the number eight shirt this season and has put in impressive performances in the Guinness Women’s Six Nations. Brittany was the Player of the Match in Ireland’s 15-12 victory over Scotland at Kingspan Stadium, a victory that would seal third place in the table and qualification for next year’s World Cup.

Young Women’s Player of the Year – Sophie Barrett (Enniskillen RFC / Railway Union RFC)

Sophie Barrett had an excellent Interprovincial campaign this year with the Ulster Rugby Senior Women, leading to her involvement with the Irish Wolfhounds who won the Celtic Challenge competition. Sophie went on to win this season’s Junior Cup with Enniskillen RFC, where she has played a major role in the success of the Senior Women’s team, and was a runner-up in the Women’s AIL Cup Final, with dual-status club Railway Union RFC. She was also selected in last year’s Ireland U20s squad. Sophie continues to work hard, and is a young player who is growing in stature as demonstrated in her performances at club, provincial and international level.

Danske Bank Girls Schools’ Player of the Year – Niamh Fulton (Sullivan Upper School)

Niamh Fulton captained Sullivan Upper School in only their second year in the U18 Girls Schools’ competition. She led by example, playing some excellent rugby throughout the season, which led to her involvement in the extended U18 Interprovincial squad in February, and the Ulster U18 7s squad this May. Niamh has since joined Malone RFC, and continues to impress in both the 7s and XVs format of the game.

Ulster Girls’ Youth Player of the Year – Erin McConalogue (Inishowen RFC)

Erin McConalogue has continued to raise the bar this season. She was one of the first Women’s National Talent Squad players this year – a new IRFU programme running across the four provinces. Erin featured in both Interpro series for Ulster U18 Girls and, after excellent performances, she was called into the Irish U18 Girls’ Six Nations training squad. This earned her a place in the squad that travelled to Wales for this season’s U18 Six Nations festival. Erin also put in a brilliant display of rugby in the recent U18 7s Interpro Series. The young player has been able to achieve all this alongside sitting her Leaving Certificate in school, and playing club rugby at Inishowen RFC.

Ulster Rugby Foundation Community Impact Award – Civil Service NI RFC

Following the launch of the Ulster Rugby Foundation last summer, with the aim of helping more people of all ages and abilities to get involved in the sport across the province, the inaugural winner of the Ulster Rugby Foundation Community Impact Award is Civil Service NI RFC. Chosen from three strong submissions, each representing a priority for the Foundation – Disability Rugby, Women and Girls’ Rugby and Youth Rugby – Civil Service NI RFC were deemed the winners for their ongoing work within the Women and Girls’ game, and for their continued efforts to engage with their local community over the past season. Having built-up their community outreach in the past while, Civil Service NI’s fundraising efforts for Breast Cancer Now also contributed to the club being crowned winners, as it reflects the Ulster Rugby Foundation’s founding principle that rugby has the power to have a lasting and positive impact on participants and our local community.