In March, the EPCR released a 15-strong list of nominees for their 2017 European Player of the Year.
Today, 10 of those players were dropped, as the organisation announced a 5-man shortlist. Eliminated from the running were Wasps flanker Thomas Young, Clermont Auvergne’s Noa Nakaitaci, Glasgow lock Jonny Gray, Leinster prop Tadhg Furlong, Wasps standout Joe Launchbury, Munster scrumhalf Conor Murray, Wasps back Elliot Daly, Glasgow’s Stuart Hogg, Leinster’s Isa Nacewa and Tyler Bleyendaal of Munster.
While there was no place on the shortlist for his Leinster teammates Furlong and Nacewa, young Garry Rongrose did make the cut. The 22-year-old, who scored that marvelous try on Sunday in Lyon, missed out on Lions selection last week, but this acknowledgement might ease his pain somewhat.
Ringrose’s fellow Irish international and provincial foe CJ Stander also made the shortlist. Few will argue with the Munster number 8’s inclusion here.
Saracens, who dumped Stander’s Munster out of the European Champions Cup at the semi-final stage on Saturday, also have 2 representatives, in fly-half Owen Farrell and last year’s EPCR European Player of the Year Maro Itoje.
The two Irish internationals and the English international duo are joined by Clermont Avergne fly-half Camille Lopez, the man who sealed Leinster’s Champions Cup fate with a late penalty and drop goal in Lyon on Sunday.
You can vote for the player that you think is deserving of this accolade on the EPCR website. A link is included in the tweet below…
Here are the final five for EPCR European Player of the Year 2017 #EPCRplayer
— Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) April 24, 2017