The nominees for this year’s EPCR European Player of the Year have been named today.
Four Leinster players – Tadhg Furlong, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan and Josh van der Flier – have made the 15-man shortlist.
ASM Clermont Auvergne and Japan fullback Kotaro Matsushima has also been shortlisted.
The remaining eleven nominees are made up of players from the other Champions Cup semi-finalists – La Rochelle, Toulouse and Bordeaux-Bégles.
Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle side have more players in the running for the award than any other club with a total of five nominees – Grégory Alldritt, Levani Botia, Kevin Gourdon, Will Skelton and Raymond Rhule.
French fly-half Matthieu Jalibert is the only Bordeaux-Bégles player to be nominated while their semi-final opponents Toulouse have a total of four players who have made the cut – Antoine Dupont, Jerome Kaino, Romain Ntamack and Julien Marchand.
Voting for the award is now open with the shortlist being narrowed down to five players in early May.
Following the reduction in nominees, voting will reopen, and the winner will be revealed after the Champions Cup final on Saturday, 22 May.
EPCR European Player of the Year 2021 nominees:
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster)
Josh van der Flier (Leinster)
Hugo Keenan (Leinster)
Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle)
Raymond Rhule (La Rochelle)
Will Skelton (La Rochelle)
Kevin Gourdon (La Rochelle)
Levani Botia (La Rochelle)
Antoine Dupont (Toulouse)
Jerome Kaino (Toulouse)
Julien Marchand (Toulouse)
Romain Ntamack (Toulouse)
Kotaro Matsushima (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Matthie Jalibert (Bordeaux-Bégles)