Bok up for top Euro award
SPOTLIGHT: Springbok wing Raymond Rhule has been nominated for the prestigious EPCR European Player of the Year 2021 award after his incredible form at La Rochelle.
The La Rochelle utility back is among 15 players on the list of nominees for the award.
Rhule’s teammates Grégory Alldritt, Levani Botia, Kevin Gourdon and former tournament winner, Will Skelton, have also been nominated after La Rochelle booked a place in the semi-finals for the first time in their history.
Leinster Rugby, meanwhile, have four players – Tadhg Furlong, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan and Josh van der Flier – on the list while Toulouse also have four nominees in Antoine Dupont, Jerome Kaino, Julien Marchand and Romain Ntamack.
With players from as many as seven countries – Australia, Fiji, France, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa – getting the initial vote of the judges, Matthieu Jalibert of Bordeaux-Bègles and ASM Clermont Auvergne’s Kotaro Matsushima complete the star-studded longlist following their outstanding performances.
The winner of one of the most prized individual accolades in the world game will receive a specially struck gold medal as well as the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy.
The list will be reduced to five players in early May, following the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup semi-finals, by a combination of the public vote and the verdict of the judges, and players who have not been included on the initial list of 15, but who make a significant impact in a semi-final match, may be considered for the shortlist.
The voting will then reopen and the winner of the 2021 award will be announced following the Champions Cup final on Saturday, May 22.