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IRB Announce Recipients Of The Vernon Pugh Award For Distinguished Service And Development Award

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IRB Announce Recipients Of The Vernon Pugh Award For Distinguished Service And Development Award

The International Rugby Board has announced that Noel Murphy has been awarded the Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service and Chia-Seng Lin the IRB Development Award.

Both presentations were made at the Ninth IRB General Assembly in Dublin on Monday evening. Noel Murphy received the Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service, one of Rugby's highest accolades, in recognition of remarkable achievements in the Game as a player, coach and leading administrator.

Murphy was capped 41 times for Ireland between 1958 and 1969 including 5 as captain, as well as touring twice with the British & Irish Lions to New Zealand and Australia in 1959 and 1966 and again as coach in 1980. After hanging up his boots in 1969, the Irishman returned to his native county to coach Cork Constitution, moving on to coach Munster and ultimately Ireland from 1977 to 1980. A fine career was capped with service as President of the IRFU and as an IRB Council Member.

"Noel Murphy is a true embodiment of the dedication, integrity and passion for the Game which gave the Vernon Pugh Award its eponymous title. There are few people who excel as a player, coach and administrator, but Noel has done all three with vigour and dedication. We are all extremely grateful for his immense contribution to the Game", said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

The IRB Development Award was presented to Chia-Seng Lin, known to the Rugby family as Carlson Lin, from the Chinese Taipei Rugby Football Union for his exceptional contribution to the development of the Game in Asia and the advancement of match official training and recruitment across a region that is experiencing exceptional growth.

Lin was Rugby Sevens Event Manager at this year's World Games in Kaohsiung, an event hailed a tremendous success, and has also served as a Judicial Officer, Referee Manager, Match Commissioner and Referee educator since taking up the whistle in 1964. An invaluable asset to Asian Rugby and a true champion of Rugby Sevens, Lin is now Vice President of the Chinese Taipei Rugby Football Union and an IRB Educator of Match Officials.

"Without the dedication of volunteers across the World, the Game simply would not survive and Carlson Lin has invested many years of his life both in becoming an exceptional referee and training others to do the same," said Lapasset.

"This award is in recognition of his tremendous contribution to developing the Game. The Rugby Sevens event at the World Games at natural fit for multi-sport events and its success was much to do with the work of Lin and his team".

These two Awards, together with the three IRB Awards presented on Saturday, mean 11 of the 13 IRB Awards in association with Emirates Airline including the IRB Hall of Fame have now been presented, with the IRPA Special Merit Award and the IRPA Try of the Year Award still to be made before the end of 2009.

New Zealand's Richie McCaw was named IRB Player of the Year; South Africa announced IRB Team of the Year and Ireland's Declan Kidney named IRB Coach of the Year following the conclusion of the November test matches. Previous Winners of The Vernon Pugh Award (IRB Chairman's Award 2001-2003) 2001 - Kath McLean, Sir Terry McLean, Albert Farasse, John Eales 2002 - Bill Mclaren, George Pippos (posthumously) 2003 - Vernon Pugh 2004 - Ronnie Dawson 2005 - Peter Crittle 2006 - Brian Lochore 2007 - Jose Epalza 2008 - Sir Nicholas Shehadle Previous Winners of IRB Development Award 2001 - Jorge Brasceras (Uruguay) 2002 - John Broadfoot 2003 - Tan Theany & Philippe Monnin 2004 - Guedel Ndiaye 2005 - Robert Antonin 2006 - Mike Luke 2007 - Jacob Thompson 2008 - Tag Rugby Trust and Martin Hansford

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