The nominees for the 2020 EPCR European Player of the Year have been announced with three Leinster players included.
In total, seven clubs are represented among the 15 nominees who were picked by a panel of judges which include Brian O’Driscoll, Alan Quinlan, Bryan Habana and Dimitri Yachvili.
Leinster, Racing 92 and the Exeter Chiefs all have three nominees included in the list with Tadhg Furlong, Jordan Larmour and Garry Ringrose representing Leo Cullen’s men.
The in-form trio of Finn Russell, Teddy Thomas and Virimi Vakatawa feature for Racing, and Exeter have Luke Cowan-Dickie, Stuart Hogg and Sam Simmonds in the star-studded longlist following their impressive qualification for the knockout stage of the Heineken Champions Cup
The Toulouse pair of Jerome Kaino and Romain Ntamack get the vote of the judges along with Marcell Coetzee and John Cooney who have been included on the back of their outstanding displays for Ulster Rugby during the pool stage.
ASM Clermont Auvergne centre, George Moala, is also nominated while the brilliant Semi Radradra completes the list on behalf of Challenge Cup quarter-finalists Bordeaux-Bègles.
The list will be reduced to five players in early May following the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup semi-finals by a combination of the public vote and the verdict of the judges, and players who have not been included in the initial list of 15, but who make a significant impact in a quarter-final or semi-final match, may be considered for the shortlist.
The voting will then re-open and the winner of the 2020 award will be announced following the Heineken Champions Cup final at the Stade Vélodrome, Marseille on Saturday, 23 May.
EPCR European Player of the Year 2020 award nominees:
Marcell Coetzee – Ulster Rugby
John Cooney – Ulster Rugby
Luke Cowan-Dickie – Exeter Chiefs
Tadhg Furlong – Leinster Rugby
Stuart Hogg – Exeter Chiefs
Jerome Kaino – Toulouse
Jordan Larmour – Leinster Rugby
George Moala – ASM Clermont Auvergne
Romain Ntamack – Toulouse
Semi Radradra – Bordeaux-Bègles
Garry Ringrose – Leinster Rugby
Finn Russell – Racing 92
Sam Simmonds – Exeter Chiefs
Teddy Thomas – Racing 92
Virimi Vakatawa – Racing 92