La Rochelle and Toulouse have received added recognition following their qualification for the Heineken Champions Cup final at Twickenham Stadium as their star performers dominate the prestigious shortlist for the 2021 EPCR European Player of the Year award.

Antoine Dupont, Jerome Kaino and team captain, Julien Marchand, from four-time tournament winners, Toulouse, all remain in the running for the accolade after the initial 15 nominees were trimmed to five based on the combined verdict of a renowned panel of rugby experts along with almost 20,000 participants in the public vote.

Meanwhile, first-time tournament finalists, La Rochelle, have Grégory Alldritt and Will Skelton in the shortlist, both having made try-scoring contributions during the impressive semi-final win over Leinster Rugby.

Voting for one of the most prized individual awards in world rugby has now reopened on and the winner and recipient of the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy will be announced following the Heineken Champions Cup final on Saturday 22 May.

2021 EPCR European Player of the Year shortlist

Grégory ALLDRITT (La Rochelle)
Antoine DUPONT (Toulouse)
Jerome KAINO (Toulouse)
Julien MARCHAND (Toulouse)
Will SKELTON (La Rochelle)

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 club rugby)