RTE Sport have announced the shortlist for the RTE Sports Person of the Year Award, the RTE Sports Team of the Year Award and new award the RTE Sports Manager of the Year with Sean O’Brien, the Leinster squad and Joe Schmidt respectively in contention…

The winners will be revealed and presented with their awards at The RTÉ Sports Awards in association with The Irish Sports Council which will be broadcast live on RTÉ One, Sunday 18 December at 9.30pm.

Presented by Darragh Maloney, Michael Lyster, Clare MacNamara and Des Cahill, the live show will review what was a wonderful year for Irish athletes and teams and look back on the dramatic and memorable sporting moments of 2011.

The RTÉ Sports Person of the Yearshortlist features the following nine finalists: Darren Clarke, winner of the British Open; Michael Fennelly, GAA GPA All Star and Hurler of the Year; Sean O’Brien, Heineken Cup winner and ERC European player of the year; Katie Taylor, five time European Amateur Boxing Champion; Rory McIlroy, world number two and US Open champion; John Joe Nevin, Olympic hopeful and World Amateur Boxing Bronze medalist; Kevin O’Brien, Ireland’s record breaking cricket hero; Alan Brogan, GAA GPA Footballer of the year; and Robbie Keane, the Republic of Ireland’s captain and  record goal scorer.

Celebrating the collaborative achievements of Irish athletes, theRTÉ Sports Team of the Year shortlist includes: Two time Heineken Cup winners Leinster, All Ireland Football Champions, Dublin; All Ireland and League champions Cork’s Ladies Football team; European Championship finalists, the Republic of Ireland soccer team;  the first Irish football club to qualify for the Europa League and Airtricity League Premier Division title winners, Shamrock Rovers; All Ireland Hurling Champions, Kilkenny; back-to-back All Ireland Camogie Champions, Wexford; and, following their historic win over England at the Cricket World Cup, the Irish Cricket Team

In recognition of the huge effort behind the scenes and on the sidelines this year RTÉ have introduced the RTÉ Sports Manager of the Year award with the following eight nominees; Kilkenny Hurling manager, Brian Cody who guided his team to a fifth championship title in six years; managing  both senior and intermediate sides to an historic All Ireland double in Croke Park, Wexford Camogie Manager JJ Doyle; the first manager of a League of Ireland side to reach the group stages of a European competition, Michael O’Neill; following another impressive medals haul at European and World level, head coach with the IABI High Performance Unit, Billy Walsh; Heineken Cup winning Coach Joe Schmidt; leading the Republic of Ireland to a major tournament for the first time in 10 years, Giovanni Trapattoni; bridging a 16 year gap, and delivering the All Ireland Football title to the capital, Dublin Football Manager Pat Gilroy; and leading National Hunt trainer and Cheltenham Festival champion trainer, Willie Mullins.

The winners will be selected by RTÉ sports journalists, editorial staff and broadcasters and will be announced live on the night.

The awards ceremony will also see the honour of the RTÉ/Irish Sports Council’s Hall of Fame Award presented to a very deserving Irish sporting legend.