Following the conclusion of the European Champions Cup, the longlist for the EPCR European Player of the Year 2015 award has been announced.
Selected by a panel of experts including European Cup winner, Alan Quinlan, and Challenge Cup winner, Dimitri Yachvili, the longlist for the one of the most prized individual accolades in the world game includes 15 players who have performed outstandingly in the 2014/15 season to date.
Last season’s winner, Steffon Armitage of Toulon, is nominated once again, along with Northampton Saints’ George North and Fritz Lee of Clermont who made the 2014 longlist.
Saracens’ prolific try scorer, Chris Ashton, who made last season’s five-man shortlist, is also included on this occasion.
Clermont, who clash with Saints in the Champions Cup quarter-final in April, have four players in the list, while No 1 seeds for the knockout stage, Racing Metro, have three nominations. Leinster, Saracens and Toulon have two apiece with one each for Bath and Northampton.
The panel of judges will then have the option to consider additional players who make major contributions during the knockout stages of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup before announcing a five-man shortlist following the semi-finals with the overall winner named directly after EPCR’s finals in London in early May.
In addition to the decision of the judges, the 40 clubs in the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup will have the opportunity to vote for contenders in the eventual shortlist while supporters can also have their say on Twitter using
EPCR European Player of the Year 2015 longlist:
Nick Abendanon (Clermont)
Steffon Armitage (Toulon)
Chris Ashton (Saracens)
Jamie Heaslip (Leinster)
Juan Imhoff (Racing Metro)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath)
Fritz Lee (Clermont)
Camille Lopez (Clermont)
Ian Madigan (Leinster)
George North (Northampton Saints)
Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro)