Josh van der Flier
UCD Alumni Award in Sport 2023
Dip Sports Management 2013, BSc (Sports & Exercise Management) 2017
Josh van der Flier is an Irish rugby union player for Leinster and Ireland, who also played for UCD Rugby during his time in UCD. He is involved with UCD Rugby Club each year with their fundraising Daffodil Day for Irish Cancer Society.
In 2022, Josh van der Flier became only the third Irishman to be named World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Year and was also selected for the World Rugby Men’s 15’s Dream Team of the Year. He was also crowned the EPCR European Player of the Year (receiving over 30,000 votes from across Europe), Leinster Rugby Players’ Player of the Year, Rugby Players Ireland Players’ Player of the Year (voted on by his peers) and Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Player of the Year in 2022 in a unanimous vote.
He is consistently one of Ireland’s and Leinster’s top performers on the pitch. In July 2022, he was a member of the Ireland rugby team that secured a historic first win over the All Blacks on New Zealand soil. He played in all three test matches and scored a try in the final test. In the 2022 November internationals he was once again a key player as he played 80 minutes in the wins over South Africa and Australia.
Ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup taking place in the autumn of 2023 in France, Josh van der Flier was a key member of the 2023 Six Nations Grand Slam Winning Irish squad, playing the full 80 minutes in each fixture of the tournament. He earned his 50th international cap against England in the 2023 Six Nations final game.