Champions Cup: Five-player shortlist named for EPCR Player of the Year

Jared Wright
Champions Cup EPCR Player of the Year has been confirmed and includes three Leinster players and one from La Rochelle and Toulouse

The EPCR have released the five-player shortlist for the coveted Player of the Year award for 2023.

The list consists of four finalists from Leinster and La Rochelle, with losing semi-finalists Toulouse providing the final nominee.

Leinster trio

Champions Cup finalists Leinster have three players making the cut for the final three, including two forwards and one back.

2022 EPCR Player of the Year, Josh van der Flier is in with a chance of becoming the first player ever to win the award in back-to-back seasons. If he achieves this feat, he will also be the first player to win it twice.

Van der Flier has played in six of Leinster’s seven fixtures in the competition and leads the competition in tries scored, grabbing six in total.

Fellow backrower Caelan Doris is also in the running for the award after starring in six games for the Irish Province. He has seven try involvements for the side, scoring twice and assisting five.

Finally, Leinster centre Garry Ringrose has made the five-player shortlist after six impressive performances in the tournament. A standout for club and country, Ringrose has also been amongst the tries scoring four and assisting three en route to the final.

French entries

Just one of Leinster’s opponents in the Champions Cup final has made the shortlist, in La Rochelle captain Gregory Alldritt.

The French international has been consistently brilliant for Ronan O’Gara’s side, who are looking to defend their title. He has made more carries than any other player in the tournament (112) and has beaten more defenders than any other forward (19).

Finally, 2021 EPCR Player of the Year, Antoine Dupont is the only player who will not feature in the final that has made the five-player shortlist.

The ridiculously talented scrumhalf has beaten more defenders (27) than any player in the tournament and has assisted double the amount of tries than any other player (10). In the quarter-final against the Sharks, he assisted a mind-blowing five tries.

The EPCR have opened voting for the winner to the public, with the poll’s results added to the expertise of a prominent panel of pundits to determine the winner. Cast your vote here.

Roll of Honour

2022: Josh van der Flier (Leinster)
2021: Antoine Dupont (Stade Toulousain)
2020: Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
2019: Alex Goode (Saracens)
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 professional club competitions)

READ MORE: Champions Cup Team of the Week: Finalists Leinster and La Rochelle dominate the line-up