Gregory Alldritt: La Rochelle captain named EPCR Player of the Year after Champions Cup triumph
La Rochelle captain Gregory Alldritt capped off a stellar Champions Cup season by claiming the EPCR Player of the Year award.
The France number eight led La Rochelle to back-to-back Champions Cup titles culminating in a 27-26 victory over Leinster in the final on Saturday.
Alldritt claims top gong
The 26-year-old is the second French player to win the award, after Toulouse scrum-half Antoine Dupont in 2021.
Alldritt was presented with the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy by Olive Foley and her two sons, Tony and Dan, following the showpiece match at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.
Over 32,000 votes were cast by fans, with the public’s verdict combined with the expert panel of judges deciding on Alldritt as the victor.
The powerhouse loose forward was also named man of the match in the final and claimed the Player of the Year award ahead of Leinster’s Caelan Doris, Garry Ringrose, Josh van der Flier and Toulouse’s Dupont.
He is the first La Rochelle player to win the award and the sixth Top 14 representative following Jonny Wilkinson (2013) and Steffon Armitage (2014) of Toulon, Clermont Auvergne’s Nick Abendanon in 2015, Leone Nakarawa of Racing 92 in 2018, and Dupont.
“It’s the same feeling as last year. It’s very hard to comprehend,” Alldritt said after lifting the Champions Cup and collecting the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy.
“This match was unbelievable. We show enormous character and determination, we knew we wouldn’t be given anything.
“Winning that way is just huge. We have to surpass ourselves to win the game, and we didn’t give up once.
“We need to go back to La Rochelle and see our old port full to bursting and we do not realize what we have just seen a second time.
“It’s just crazy. I thought I would be at the peak of emotions in Marseille but it never stops. I’m going to ride the wave. The lost finals are over. We want trophies. It’s just amazing.”
EPCR Player of the Year Roll of honour
2023: Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle)
2022: Josh van der Flier (Leinster Rugby)
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 club rugby)
Judging panel: Bryan Habana (two-time Heineken Champions Cup winner), Sarah Hunter (former England captain), Elma Smit (sports presenter and producer), Andy Goode (two-time Heineken Cup winner), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions and Challenge Cup winner)
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