The Ireland captain, who won his 100th cap against Wales earlier this month, succeeds England full-back Mike Brown after he received 18,842 votes (26.73 per cent), seeing off a challenge from Ospreys and Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones, who received 13,645 (19.36 per cent).
When you see the names that have gone before, you realise what a great honour it is. I’m very grateful for all the supporters who voted for me.
Paul O’Connell on
Connacht and Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw saw off Wales outside-half Dan Biggar to finish third of the 12-man shortlist with 7,750 votes (10.9 per cent).
Italy number eight and captain Sergio Parisse and England scrum-half Ben Youngs completed the top six.
Munster lock O’Connell, who led Ireland to an RBS 6 Nations title defence with a 40-10 win over Scotland at BT Murrayfield last Saturday, is the third Irish player to take home the award following three-time winner Brian O’Driscoll (2006, 2007, 2009) and Tommy Bowe (2010).
“I’m delighted to receive the RBS player of the championship trophy,” O’Connell said.
“When you see the names that have gone before, you realise what a great honour it is.
“I’m very grateful for all the supporters who voted for me.”
O’Connell and Ireland Women captain Niamh Briggs will parade their respective Six Nations trophies at Thomond Park during Saturday’s Guinness PRO12 match between Munster and Connacht.
2014 – Mike Brown (England)
2013 – Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
2012 – Dan Lydiate (Wales)
2011 – Andrea Masi (Italy)
2010 – Tommy Bowe (Ireland)
2009 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
2008 – Shane Williams (Wales)
2007 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
2006 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
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