Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith has produced some breathtaking moments in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup and his electrifying performances have resulted in a nomination for the EPCR European Player of the Year.
The 23-year-old has scored two tries and kicked 36 points so far – which sees him top this season’s Heineken Champions Cup points-scorers list – to help Harlequins win all four of their Pool B games and secure a place in the Round of 16.
In one of Smith’s crowning moments of the pool stage, he darted over for a 75th minute try at Cardiff Rugby before adding the extras and then held his nerve to slot a penalty in added time to hand Quins a dramatic 36-33 victory in Round 3.
The England international has made just 16 Heineken Champions Cup appearances so far in his career, but he is fast establishing himself as one of the leading players in Europe.
Smith will be looking to continue his scintillating form and steer Quins to a quarter-final place when they face Montpellier Hérault Rugby over two legs in April.
Best in Europe on current form? pic.twitter.com/4xh6tbMFUm
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) February 9, 2022
The winner of the award which is in its 12th season will receive the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy in memory of the former Munster Rugby head coach and captain.
Voting is now open HERE and fans will be in the running to win a signed ball and a signed jersey courtesy of one of the Heineken Champions Cup final clubs.
The list will be reduced to five players in May, following the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup semi-finals, by a combination of the public vote and the verdict of the judging panel, and players who have not been included in the initial longlist, but who make a significant impact during the knockout stages, may be considered for the shortlist.
The voting will then re-open and the winner of the 2022 award will be announced following the Heineken Champions Cup final in Marseille on Saturday, 28 May.
EPCR European Player of the Year 2022 nominees:
Grégory ALLDRITT (Stade Rochelais)
Alex DOMBRANDT (Harlequins)
Caelan DORIS (Leinster Rugby)
Antoine DUPONT (Stade Toulousain)
Gaël FICKOU (Racing 92)
George FORD (Leicester Tigers)
Michael LOWRY (Ulster Rugby)
Jimmy O’BRIEN (Leinster Rugby)
Jack O’DONOGHUE (Munster Rugby)
Damian PENAUD (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Semi RADRADRA (Bristol Bears)
Sam SIMMONDS (Exeter Chiefs)
Marcus SMITH (Harlequins)
Josh VAN DER FLIER (Leinster Rugby)
Cameron WOKI (Union Bordeaux-Bègles)
Judging Panel – Erik Bonneval (beIN SPORTS), Bryan Habana (two-time Heineken Champions Cup winner), Lee McKenzie (Channel 4), Alan Quinlan (Virgin Media), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions)
Roll of Honour – 2021: Antoine Dupont (Stade Toulousain) ; 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)