With the finale weekend of the Six Nations behind us, attention now moves sharply back to the club game. Close on the horizon is Rugby Champions Cup action. Furthermore, the quarter-finals this year have thrown up some mammoth ties involving Europe’s rugby elite.
To whet our appetite for the knockout stages, the EPCR have been drip feeding the public their nominees for European Rugby ‘Player of the Year’. This morning, however, the governing body announced the full list of nominees on their website.
The list features players from six of this year’s quarter-finalists. 2015 champions Toulon and four-time winners Toulouse miss out. The Irish provinces lead the way with Munster and Leinster securing three nominations each. In addition, English clubs received five nominations, with three for Wasps and two for Saracens. Finally, French outfit Clermont Auvergne have two nominees, as do Scotland’s Glasgow Warriors. Last year’s winner, Maro Itoje, is again among the nominees.
The full list of nominees are:
Thomas Youngs (Wasps), CJ Stander (Munster), Garry Ringrose (Leinster), Noa Nakaitaci (Clermont Auvergne), Jonny Gray (Glasgow), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Conor Murray (Munster), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow), Isa Nacewa (Leinster), Camille Lopez (Clermont Auvergne), and Tyler Bleyendaal (Munster).
Each player profile on the EPCR website includes a highlight video of the nominee from the pool stages, some of which you can view below…
You can view the rest here.
The public vote to crown this year’s winner will open on April 3rd. This will then whittle down the nominees to a short list of 5. The winner will subsequently be announced on finals weekend in May.
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