Four players from Saracens, including Billy Vunipola, are among those shortlisted for this year’s European Player of the Year award.
Ahead of the high-profile semi-final matches in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, EPCR in conjunction with one of its Official Partners, Turkish Airlines, has announced the list of contenders.
This year’s winner will follow in the footsteps of luminaries such as Jonny Wilkinson, Sean O’Brien and Nick Abendanon, and will also receive one million air miles courtesy of Turkish Airlines.
Selected by a distinguished panel of rugby experts, the list for one of the most prized individual accolades in the world game includes 15 players who have performed outstandingly during the 2015/16 season to date.
The 2014 winner, Steffon Armitage of Toulon, is nominated once again, while other nominees include Racing 92’s Dan Carter, France captain, Guilhem Guirado also of Toulon, four players from Saracens, and the highly-rated Jack Clifford who has starred for Harlequins in their Challenge Cup run to Friday’s semi-final clash with Grenoble.
Wasps, who take on Saracens in the Champions Cup semi-final on Saturday, have three representatives, Toulon and Racing two apiece, while Racing’s semi-final opponents, Leicester Tigers, have one player on the list, as do Exeter Chiefs, Northampton Saints and Harlequins.
This season, fans of European club rugby will be able to have a major say in the outcome, and from Wednesday, April 20, online voting for the award winner will open here.
The EPCR European Player of the Year 2016 will be announced in Lyon during next month’s EPCR finals weekend.
EPCR European Player of the Year 2016 list
Steffon Armitage (Toulon)
Dan Carter (Racing 92)
Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Vereniki Goneva (Leicester Tigers)
Guilhem Guirado (Toulon)
Juan Imhoff (Racing 92)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
George North (Northampton Saints)
Charles Piutau (Wasps)
George Smith (Wasps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs)