The shortlist for the EPCR European Player Of The Year 2018 has been announced this morning.
In total, 15 nominees have been named across eight different clubs, with four Irishmen making the list – Tadhg Beirne, Conor Murray, Jonathan Sexton and Tadhg Furlong.
Leinster have the most representatives from any club which is reflected by their top seeding heading into the quarter-finals by having Furlong, Sexton, Scott Fardy and Isa Nacewa named.
Here is the list in full:
Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets)
Levani Botia (La Rochelle)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets)
Scott Fardy (Leinster Rugby)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby)
Conor Murray (Munster Rugby)
Isa Nacewa (Leinster Rugby)
Leone Nakarawa (Racing 92)
Morgan Parra (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Dany Priso (La Rochelle)
Alivereti Raka (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Jonathan Sexton (Leinster Rugby)
Josua Tuisova (RC Toulon)
Victor Vito (La Rochelle)
Owen Farrell is once again included after winning the inaugural Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy last year when his side lifted the Champions Cup. The English playmaker played a key role in his side’s dismantling of the Northampton Saints at the weekend which has seen them progress into the quarter-finals by the skin of their teeth, keeping their hopes of retaining the trophy intact.
Voting is now open to select your European Player Of The Year and the list will be whittled down to five in April after taking public voting and the judging panels’ recommendations into account. Voting will recommence at that time when the winner will be announced after the Champions Cup final takes place on May 12 in Bilbao.
Judging Panel: 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).
Roll of Honour – 2017: Owen Farrell (Saracens); 2016: Maro Itoje (Saracens); 2015: Nick Abendanon (ASM Clermont Auvergne); 2014: Steffon Armitage (RC Toulon); 2013: Jonny Wilkinson (RC Toulon); 2012: Rob Kearney (Leinster Rugby); 2011: Sean O’Brien (Leinster Rugby); 2010: Ronan O’Gara (Munster Rugby – best player of first 15 years of European club competitions).