Players from Leinster and Saracens have been rewarded for the outstanding performances that have brought their clubs to next month’s Heineken Champions Cup decider in Newcastle with the two finalists dominating the shortlist for the prestigious EPCR European Player of the Year award.
Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong and Garry Ringrose are aiming to emulate the achievements of Leinster teammates Sean O’Brien and Rob Kearney who won the prized individual accolade in 2011 and 2012, while Saracens’ Alex Goode and Mako Vunipola are looking to follow in the footsteps of Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell, winners in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
The 15 initial nominees from the pool stage have been reduced to five based on the combined verdict of a distinguished panel of rugby experts and a public vote.
Voting has now reopened on epcrugby.com/epoty and the winner and recipient of the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy will be announced following the final at St James’ Park on Saturday 11 May.
EPCR European Player of the Year 2019 shortlist
Sean Cronin (Leinster Rugby)
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Garry Ringrose (Leinster Rugby)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
🌟 Your finalised European Player of the Year 2019 list 🌟
It has been whittled down to a Final Five from @leinsterrugby and @Saracens✨@SeanCronin2@tadhgfurlong@Alex_goode0@Ringrose_G@Mako_Vunipola
Who gets your vote?📥https://t.co/KfkYcthrrK
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) April 24, 2019
2018/19 panel of judges:
Bryan Habana (Channel 4), Chris Jones (BBC Radio 5 Live), Mathieu Lartot (France Télévisions), Emmanuel Massicard (Midi Olympique), Brian O’Driscoll (BT Sport), Dimitri Yachvili (beIN SPORTS).
2018 Leone Nakarawa (Racing 92)
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 rugby)