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European Player of the Year

EPCR European Player of the Year 2015

Nick Abendanon

Recognised as one of the most prestigious individual accolades in the game, the European Player of the Year honours the best player of the European club rugby season from both the European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup tournaments.

Selection process

The selection process begins in January when a panel of rugby experts nominates a longlist of 15 contenders based on the pool stage performances of players from the 40 clubs in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.

The panel also has the option to consider additional players who make outstanding contributions during the knockout stages of both tournaments before announcing a five-man shortlist following the semi-finals with the overall winner named directly after the European club rugby finals weekend on 1/2 May.

In addition to the decision of the panel, the 40 clubs in EPCR's tournaments are given the opportunity to vote for contenders on the shortlist while supporters can also have their say on Twitter using #EPCRPlayer and on the European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup Facebook pages.

In 2010 ERC launched the ERC15 Awards, recognising the outstanding contributors to the first decade and a half of European competition. The inaugural recipient of the European Player Award, as the best player over the first 15 years of these tournaments, was Munster Rugby's Ronan O'Gara. For the 2010/11 season and onwards, ERC made the award on an annual basis.

EPCR European Player of the Year 2015 shortlist

Nick Abendanon (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Steffon Armitage (RC Toulon)
Jamie Heaslip (Leinster Rugby)
Fritz Lee (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)

Judging Panel: Emmanuel Massicard (Editor, Midi Olympique), Stuart Barnes (Sky Sports/The Sunday Times), Alan Quinlan (Sky Sports/The Irish Times), Mick Cleary (Rugby Correspondent, The Daily Telegraph), Dimitri Yachvili (beIN Sports)

Previous award winners

2016 Maro Itoje Maro Itoje Saracens
2015 Nick Abendanon Nick Abendanon ASM Clermont Auvergne
2014 Steffon Armitage Steffon Armitage RC Toulon
2013 Jonny Wilkinson Jonny Wilkinson RC Toulon
2012 Rob Kearney Rob Kearney Leinster Rugby
2011 Sean O'Brien Sean O'Brien Leinster Rugby
2010 Ronan O'Gara Ronan O'Gara Munster Rugby
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