It’s hard to believe that it is almost seven months since Anthony ‘Axel’ Foley tragically passed away on the eve of Munster’s Champions Cup clash with Racing 92 in Paris.
His passing has had an unquantifiable effect on this Munster team, with their performances this season based a lot around physically and pure passion – the Axel way.
His death saw an unprecedented amount of grief and outpouring of emotion from the rugby world and it’s a testament to the sport and also to the man that he was when you saw the effect his death had on people.
Lovely news has come out of EPCR today as they have confirmed that the European Player of the Year award will be known as the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy.
— Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) May 13, 2017
A special trophy has been commissioned to honour the contribution which Foley made to European rugby both as a player and as a coach.
It is reported by Munster Rugby, that in future seasons, future winners of the award will receive the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy.
“This is a fitting way to honour Anthony’s memory. He was a great player and a great leader as well as a galvanising force in Munster’s European odyssey,” said EPCR Chairman, Simon Halliday. “I would like to thank the Foley family and Munster Rugby for allowing us create this trophy for now and for the future.”
There are five players in contention of winning this season’s award and they are CJ Stander, Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Camille Lopez and Garry Ringrose.
How special would it be if Stander came away with the award, especially when you consider the considerable impact Foley had on Stander’s career.