Exeter Chiefs No.8 Sam Simmonds is in the running for his second EPCR European Player of the Year award, after the England international produced some stunning displays in the pool stage of this season’s Heineken Champions Cup.  

Currently at the top of the Heineken Champions Cup try-scorer charts, the 2020 EPCR European Player of the Year has dotted down no fewer than seven times for Exeter so far and is now just one score away from matching his total (8) for the 2019/20 season.   

Simmonds scored in all four of Exeter’s Pool A games, producing single efforts against Montpellier Hérault Rugby and Glasgow Warriors, before crossing for a brace and then a hat-trick in the reverse fixtures.  

The 27-year-old’s hat-trick against Montpellier in Round 4 put Simmonds in joint-second place for the most points recorded (15) during that game week and he is currently fourth on the overall list for the 2021/22 campaign.  

Although he is known for his try-scoring capabilities, Simmonds also made an impressive 42 tackles during the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage – taking him to joint sixth on the overall list.  

Simmonds will be looking to continue his fantastic form in the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16, where Exeter take on Munster Rugby.  

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)