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Tommy Bowe makes it a hat-trick with Magners gong

By Niall Crozier

Former Ulster star Tommy Bowe made it a superb hat-trick of accolades last night when he was named Magners Players’ Player of the Year at the inaugural Magners League Awards ceremony staged at Cardiff’s Millennium stadium.

Bowe had already been crowned Players’ Player of the Year by both the Irish and Welsh Professional Players’ Associations.

The opposition to his latest title came Cardiff Blues pair Xavier Rush and out-half Ceri Sweeney, plus Edinburgh wing Tim Visser, who broke Ulster’s hearts by scoring tries against them in the Magners League and Heineken Cup, plus Dragons winger Aled Brew.

“This is a great honour, especially as the votes have come from the other players in the Magners League,” said Bowe (pictured) of his clean sweep of the individual honours board.

“It was a great season for the Ospreys, culminating in us winning the Grand Final against Leinster in Dublin, and this award rounds off the season very nicely indeed.

“But this has to close the door on the 2009/10 season because the aim now is to go on and successfully defend our title. We know that is going to be a very hard thing to do — and that no team has been able to do that in the past.

“There is a ridiculous amount of young talent at the Ospreys and my first task is to try to break into the team before I can think about anything else. As well as Shane Williams and Nikki Walker, we've got Tom Prydie, Kristian Phillips, Eli Walker and Richard Fussell all challenging for the wing spots.”

Visser collected the Magners League Young Player of the Season award.

The Magners League Coach of the Season was Newport Gwent Dragons’ Paul Turner.

The winner of Celtic Rugby Chairman’s Award was Connacht’s Michael Bradley who retired at the end of last season.

Scarlets’ hooker Ken Owens was deemed to have scored the Magners League Try of the Season, namely February’s spectacular effort against Leinster at the RDS.

The Gilbert Golden Boot Award went to Edinburgh’s Chris Paterson while The Specsavers Fairplay Award winners were Cardiff Blues.

Magners League Dream Team 2009/10: Ben Blair (Cardiff Blues), Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster), James Hook (Ospreys), Tim Visser (Edinburgh), Dan Parks (Glasgow Warriors), Tomas O'Leary (Munster), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Leo Cullen (Leinster), Ali Kellock (Glasgow Warriors, captain), Jerry Collins (Ospreys), John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster).

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