Five Irish players have been nominated for the European Player of the year award for 2022

Five Irish players have been nominated for the European Player of the year award for 2022

FIVE IRISH PLAYERS have been nominated for the European Player of the year award for 2022. Caelan Doris, Jimmy O’Brien, Josh van der Flier, Jack O' Donoghue, and Micheal Lowry have all been included. 

This is the 12th season in which the award will be given to one of rugby's stars. The award is called the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy in memory of the former Munster captain and head coach who passed away in 2016.

Fans who vote can win a signed jersey and ball via one of the Heineken Champions Cup finalist clubs. Votes are now open.

Munster's Jack O' Donoghue joins an exciting list that includes the likes of France's Antoine Dupont,  Leinster's Caelan Doris, and England's exciting wonderkid Marcus Smith.

The current holder of the award is Antoine Dupont, the Toulouse scrum half will be favorite to pick up the award for second year in a row

Dupont led his club side to a record fifth Heineken Champions Cup win over Ronan O' Gara's La Rochelle last year in Twickenham.

Leinster's trio of Caelan Doris, Jimmy O’Brien and Josh van der Flier make the list, while Harlequins duo Alex Dombrandt and Marcus Smith also make the cut.

Ulster Rugby’s Michael Lowry is another Irish inclusion and had been included in Andy Farrell's latest Six Nations squad

Sam Simmonds of the Exeter Chiefs won the award in 2020 is again nominated

Finally Grégory Alldritt of La Rochelle is included

The list will be cut to five players after the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup semi-finals in May. The votes from the public and a panel of ex rugby stars who played the game and players who have not been included in the initial longlist, but had an impact during the knockout stages, may be considered for the shortlist.

The overall winner will be announced Heineken Champions Cup final in Marseille on Saturday, 28 May.

The judging Panel  will consist of Erik Bonneval (beIN SPORTS), Bryan Habana (two-time Heineken Champions Cup winner), Lee McKenzie (Channel 4), Alan Quinlan (Virgin Media), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions)

2022 EPCR European Player of the Year nominees

Grégory ALLDRITT (Stade Rochelais)

Alex DOMBRANDT (Harlequins)

Caelan DORIS (Leinster Rugby)

Antoine DUPONT (Stade Toulousain)

Gaël FICKOU (Racing 92)

George FORD (Leicester Tigers)

Michael LOWRY (Ulster Rugby)

Jimmy O'BRIEN (Leinster Rugby)

Jack O'DONOGHUE (Munster Rugby)

Damian PENAUD (ASM Clermont Auvergne)

Semi RADRADRA (Bristol Bears)

Sam SIMMONDS (Exeter Chiefs)

Marcus SMITH (Harlequins)

Josh VAN DER FLIER (Leinster Rugby)

Cameron WOKI (Union Bordeaux-Bègles)