Leinster Rugby prop Tadhg Furlong made such a stunning impression in his Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final appearance against Exeter Chiefs that he has been nominated for this year’s EPCR European Player of the Year. 

The Irish province’s 34-22 victory over the defending champions on their own ground has been the 28-year-old forward’s only outing so far this season in the competition, but he showed his eagerness to add to his 2018 winners’ medal with a powerful performance in the scrum and loose. 

In total, the Irish international has played 38 games in the European Cup and scored four tries, including one in the 2019 final, when Leinster lost to Saracens.  

The winner of one of the most prized individual accolades in the world game will receive a specially-struck gold medal as well as the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy. 

Voting for the award, which is in its 11th season, is now open HERE and those fans who take part will be in the running to win a signed ball and a signed jersey of one of the Heineken Champions Cup finalist clubs. 

The list will be reduced to five players in early May, following the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup semi-finals, by a combination of the public vote and the verdict of the judges. Players who have not been included in the initial list of 15, but who make a significant impact in a semi-final match may be considered for the shortlist. 

The voting will then re-open and the winner of the 2021 award will be announced following the Heineken Champions Cup final on Saturday, 22 May. 

EPCR European Player of the Year 2021 award nominees: 

Grégory ALLDRITT (La Rochelle)
Levani BOTIA (La Rochelle)
Antoine DUPONT (Toulouse)
Tadhg FURLONG (Leinster Rugby)
Kevin GOURDON (La Rochelle)
Robbie HENSHAW (Leinster Rugby)
Matthieu JALIBERT (Bordeaux-Bègles)
Jerome KAINO (Toulouse)
Hugo KEENAN (Leinster Rugby)
Julien MARCHAND (Toulouse)
Kotaro MATSUSHIMA (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Romain NTAMACK (Toulouse)
Raymond RHULE (La Rochelle)
Will SKELTON (La Rochelle)
Josh VAN DER FLIER (Leinster Rugby) 

Judging Panel – Erik Bonneval (beIN SPORTS), Bryan Habana (Channel 4), Sonja McLaughlan (BBC Radio 5 Live), Alan Quinlan (Virgin Media), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions) 

Roll of Honour – 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 Rugby); 2011: Sean O’Brien (Leinster Rugby); 2010: Ronan O’Gara (Munster Rugby – best player of first 15 years of European professional club competitions)