07 Mar 17
The nominees for EPCR European Player of the Year - presented by Turkish Airlines - will be announced over the course of the next fortnight.
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.
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.
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)