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World-class list of nominees for '24 EPCR Player of the Year

NEWS: Established world-class performers and rising stars of the game are included in a list of eight outstanding nominees for the 2024 EPCR Cup Player of the Year award.

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Sadly no South African player made the final list of nominees.

Leinster, who go head-to-head with Northampton Saints in next month’s mouthwatering Investec Champions Cup semifinal at Dublin’s Croke Park, lead the way with four nominees – Caelan Doris, Jamison Gibson-Park, James Lowe and Dan Sheehan – while Northampton are represented by the vast experience of Courtney Lawes and the emerging talent that is Fin Smith.

The remaining two nominees are likely to have a major impact on the second of the Champions Cup semifinals between Stade Toulousain and Harlequins with the brilliant Antoine Dupont, as well as the Quins playmaker, Marcus Smith, rewarded for their impressive form.

Doris, Gibson-Park, Lowe and Sheehan are all in contention for the award, which is in its 15th season, on the back of Leinster’s all-conquering march to the last four of the Investec Champions Cup which saw them defeat holders Stade Rochelais in the pool stage and in the recent quarter-final.

Lawes and Fin Smith have in their different ways been hugely influential as Northampton secured qualification for an Investec Champions Cup semifinal for the first time since 2011 L-awes with his leadership and physicality, and Smith demonstrating tactical intelligence beyond his years.

As for the 2021 award winner, Dupont, it’s impossible to keep him off any list of elite players as Stade Toulousain look to add a record sixth star to their jersey, while Marcus Smith has been at his inspirational best for Harlequins, and no more so in last weekend’s thrilling 42-41 win against Bordeaux-Begles.

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The nominated players were based on the combined verdict of a public vote and the decisions of a renowned panel of judges following the pool stage, Round of 16 and quarterfinal matches in the Champions Cup.

Voting for the nominees for one of the most coveted individual awards in world rugby is open again on epcrugby.com/ipoty and the winner and recipient of the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy will be announced following the Champions Cup final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, May 25.

2024 EPCR Player of the Year nominees:

Caelan Doris (Leinster)
Antoine Dupont (Stade Toulousain)
Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
James Lowe (Leinster)
Dan Sheehan (Leinster)
Fin Smith (Northampton Saints)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins)

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Judging Panel – Jim Hamilton (two-time Champions Cup winner), Francois Louw (2019 World Cup winner), Ugo Monye (Sports and two-time EPCR Challenge Cup winner), Elma Smit (sports presenter and producer), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions and EPCR Challenge Cup winner)

Roll of Honour
2023: Gregory Alldritt (Stade Rochelais)
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)
2011: Sean O’Brien (Leinster)
2010: Ronan O’Gara (Munster – best player of first 15 years of European club rugby)

Source @EPCR

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