Munster Rugby back-rower Jack O’Donoghue has been in fantastic form during this season’s Heineken Champions Cup, with the 28-year-old’s performances resulting in a nomination for the EPCR European Player of the Year.
Making three appearances in the pool stage, O’Donoghue scored his first ever European try during Munster’s Pool B game against Castres Olympique in Round 2 – dotting down for the Irish province’s only try in a 19-13 win at Thomond Park.
O’Donoghue then crossed for his second Heineken Champions Cup try of the season in an emphatic win over Wasps – as Munster ended the pool stage with a 100% record.
The 45-7 win over the Gallagher Premiership side also saw O’Donoghue reach a personal milestone, as he became the youngest player, at the age of 27, to reach 150 caps for Munster.
The Irishman will now be looking to add to an impressive Heineken Champions Cup campaign when his Munster side face Exeter Chiefs in the last 16 next month and secure a quarter-final place for Johann van Graan’s men.
Local lad tearing it up in Europe 👏
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) February 18, 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)