Old Belvedere’s Nora Stapleton picked up the Women’s All Ireland Player’s Player of the Year Award over the weekend.

Stapleton is the first player to receive the award, sponsored by The Front Row Union, after topping a poll of the Women’s Clubs in the All Ireland League, piping Railway Union’s Cliodhna Moloney and UL Bohemian’s Aine Staunton in a close contest.

Nora Stapleton. Women’s All Ireland Players Player of the Year 2018.

Described by Railway Union’s Director of Rugby John Cronin as “Still the most influential player in the Women’s All Ireland League”, Stapleton was delighted to receive the award, telling The Front Row Union:

“I’m honoured to receive this recognition from my peers in the Women’s game and I’d like to thank all the clubs that voted. Aine at Boh’s and Cliodhna at Railway have had fantastic, silverware winning, seasons so it’s a real privilege to be awarded this trophy.

There are a lot of talented players in the league and with a lot of young players coming through there is going to be tremendous competition for this trophy in the seasons to come.

It’s good that The Front Row Union have taken this initiative to put a spotlight on the players in the Women’s game in Ireland and I hope it kick starts further sponsorship and promotion of Women’s Club Rugby and the wonderful, hard working, players we have in our game. “

We at the Front Row Union are particularly pleased that our first award goes to Nora who has been an outstanding player for many season’s.

She first came to our attention in the 2010 Women’s World Cup and since then she gave us many happy memories as she developed into an outstanding player on the world stage. Nora was a key player in Ireland Women’s Grand Slam in 2013 and in their fourth place finish in the 2014 Women’s Word Cup.

Now retired from the International arena we’re sure that Nora will continue to promote the women’s game and develop players for many years to come.

Nora, top row third left, celebrating Ireland’s win against Scotland in the 2010 Women’s World Cup.