Gavin Coombes has been named Men’s player of the year for Munster Rugby today. The Cork native has become the youngest ever winner of the award after a thrilling campaign where he finished with a record of most tries in a season for the province with 15 in 22 games.
The 23-year-old joined the Munster Academy in 2016 and has since flourished in the team as a hugely important member of the squad. Coombes made several appearances for the A squad and had togged out for Young Munster in his early days. He now has a huge role in the team following his breakthrough earlier in the season by playing his way into the Champions cup squad.
The number 8 made his competitive debut in the red jersey against the Cheetahs in Thomand Park in a 38-0 victory. The player from Skibbereen more recently also got into the national squad as he replaced Caelan Doris who picked up an injury in Irelands opening 2021 Six Nations fixture against Wales.
Coombes caught the eye with some brilliant performances this season that included a hat-trick of tries against Ospreys while also winning man of the match in round 6 of the PRO14 back in November. He hasn’t looked back since going from strength to strength and becoming one of the standout performers in Europe not alone just Munster.
Coombes power and technical skill is an asset Munster have utilised and relied on at times during the campaign which earned the Player of the year with a new contract keeping him with the province for another 2 years running through to June 2023.
The award recognises not only the improvement of the player, but his leadership skills show just why he is not only one for the future but as the award would indicate he is certainly one for the present.
The Munster rugby awards held today announced 3 other winners with Craig Casey, Dorothy Wall and Ben Healy all receiving awards for their tremendous efforts from the past season.