After the weekend’s semi-finals in the Champions Cup, we now know who will be battling it out in Bilbao for European glory on May 12.
Leinster and Racing 92 will go toe-to-toe with one another at the San Mamés Stadium in what should be a gripping affair.
Leinster are favourites after going unbeaten throughout their whole European campaign but Racing 92 are not to be underestimated. The Parisian outfit showed devastating power and clinical finishing in the opening 30 minutes against Munster on Sunday and Leo Cullen’s side will have to prepare for an early onslaught.
With these two teams now contesting the final, the European Player Of The Year nominees have been cut so that there are just five players up for the award and all players represent the teams contesting the final.
- Tadhg Furlong (Leinster)
- Johnny Sexton (Leinster)
- Scott Fardy (Leinster)
- Leone Nakarawa (Racing 92)
- Maxime Machenaud (Racing 92)
The 15 nominees have been trimmed to five based on the combined verdict of a distinguished panel of rugby experts and the public vote. Highlighting particularly impressive displays in Racing 92’s quarter-final and semi-final victories, Maxime Machenaud was added to the elite shortlist where he joins teammate Leone Nakarawa.
Public voting is now open on epcrugby.com/epoty and will close following the Champions Cup final at the San Mamés Stadium on 12 May. The winner will receive the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy, a specially-struck commemorative medal and one million air miles courtesy of Turkish Airlines.
2017/18 panel of judges: Stuart Barnes (Sky Sports/The Sunday Times), Chris Jones (BBC Radio 5 Live), Matthieu Lartot (France Télévisions), Emmanuel Massicard (Midi Olympique), Brian O’Driscoll (BT Sport), Dimitri Yachvili (beIN SPORTS).