THE NOMINEE LIST FOR THE 2023 ECPR Player of the Year has been released and five Irish players have made the shortlist.
The current holder of the award Josh van der Flier has been nominated again. It's the third year in a row that the star back rower has been nominated.
His Leinster teammates Caelan Doris, Jamie Osborne and Garry Ringrose have also been shortlisted for the gong this year,
Munster's Gavin Coombes is the only other player from Ireland outside of Leinster to make the list.
2021 award winner and French star Antoine Dupont as well as Springboks captain Siya Kolisi have also been nominated.
YOUR EPCR PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES 📢 — Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) February 1, 2023
Agree with the judges' selection based on the #HeinekenChampionsCup pool stages?#EPOTY2023 voting is now open ➡️ https://t.co/98en54jQCn pic.twitter.com/RiJoJdaaab
YOUR EPCR PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES 📢
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) February 1, 2023
Fans will have the opportunity to vote for their preferred candidate, with the EPCR stating that the list will be reduced to five players after the semi-finals by a combination of the public vote and the verdict of the judges, and players who have not been included in the first longlist, but who make a significant impact during the knockout stages.
The judges who decided on the longlist include former Springbok winger and two-time Champions Cup winner Bryan Habana, former England captain Sarah Hunter, two-time Champions Cup winner Andy Goode and France legend Dimitri Yachvili.
The voting will then re-open and the winner of the 2023 award will be announced following the Heineken Champions Cup final at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday 20 May.
The winner of the award will receive the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy in memory of the former Munster Rugby Head Coach and captain.
2023 EPCR Player of the Year nominees
Grégory Alldritt (Stade Rochelais)
Gavin Coombes (Munster Rugby)
Caelan Doris (Leinster Rugby)
Elliot Daly (Saracens)
Antoine Dupont (Stade Toulousain)
Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks)
Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks)
Siya Kolisi (Cell C Sharks)
Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks)
Julien Marchand (Stade Toulousain)
Emmanuel Meafou (Stade Toulousain)
Jamie Osborne (Leinster Rugby)
Garry Ringrose (Leinster Rugby)
Justin Tipuric (Ospreys)
Josh Van der Flier (Leinster Rugby)