Irish Players' Player of the Year nominees announced

All four were also named in the Lions squad

Irish Players' Player of the Year nominees announced

The Ireland team stand for the National Anthems. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Rugby Players Ireland has released the nominees for 2017 Zurich Players’ Player of the Year Award on Wednesday morning.

Tadgh Furlong, Conor Murray, CJ Stander and Robbie Henshaw are up against one another as their peers decide who deserves the ultimate recognition. 

The four have enjoyed remarkable seasons including all starting the famous win over world champions New Zealand in Chicago last November.

Their form has seen them all called up to Warren Gatland's Lions' squad when they head to New Zealand this summer.

Tadgh Furlong has been the linchpin of both Leinster's and Ireland's scrum. Coupled with his dynamic ball carrying, he has established himself as the best tight-head prop in Europe and arguably, the world.

Ireland's Tadgh Furlong. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Conor Murray has become a quiet leader for both province and country over the last year. His standout moments include out-playing Aaron Smith as Ireland claimed a first ever win over New Zealand in November and galvanising Munster in the wake of the tragic events earlier this season.

France's Baptiste Serin and Conor Murray of Ireland. Image:  ©INPHO/James Crombie

CJ Stander has acquired so many "man of the match" awards this season, he boosted a local Limerick florist's trade. His barnstorming runs have made countless metres for both Munster and Ireland and his physical approach to the game has made him a fan's favourite.

Ireland's CJ Stander with Scott Williams of Wales. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Robbie Henshaw's performances have made the replacement of Brian O'Driscoll almost seamless. His engine never appears to fade despite giving his all from the off. Scored the crucial game-winning try against New Zealand in Chicago. 

Ireland's Robbie Henshaw scores their fifth try against New Zealand. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Speaking at the announcement of the nominees, Chairman of Rugby Players Ireland, Rob Kearney said: "To be nominated for the Players’ Player of the Year Award is such a fantastic achievement especially when it is voted for by your fellow players.

"It brings a great deal of satisfaction that your colleagues appreciate your work and efforts. I would like to congratulate all the nominees, wish them the best and hope that they enjoy the night."

Other awards to be handed out on the night include the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year Award, the BNY Mellon Women’s XVs Player of the Year 2017 and the Vodafone Medal for Excellence.

The ceremony takes place on Wednesday 10th May at the Clayton Hotel in Ballsbridge.