Stade Toulousain scrum half Antoine Dupont could become the first double EPCR European Player of the Year winner after again starring in the Heineken Champions Cup.

Dupont was last season’s winner and was also named World Player of the Year during a stellar 2021 and has underlined his class this time around.

Despite having played only 407 minutes, the livewire nine is ranked third on the defenders beaten list with 27. The only players ahead of him are Ulster’s Michael Lowry (29) and Stade Rochelais’ Grégory Alldritt (28), who have played at least a match more than him.

The 25-year-old has been a real force in the knockout stage, crossing for tries against Ulster Rugby and Leinster Rugby to take his tally in this season’s competition to three, having previously showed his place-kicking skills when helping Toulouse defeat Munster in their quarter-final penalty shootout.

No player has retained the trophy since the EPCR European Player of the Year award was first introduced in 2010.

Voting for one of the most prized individual accolades in world rugby has now reopened on epcrugby.com/epoty and the winner and recipient of the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy will be announced following the Heineken Champions Cup final at the Stade Vélodrome on Saturday 28 May.   

2022 EPCR European Player of the Year shortlist    

Grégory ALLDRITT (Stade Rochelais)
Caelan DORIS (Leinster Rugby)
Antoine DUPONT (Stade Toulousain)
James LOWE (Leinster Rugby)
Josh VAN DER FLIER (Leinster Rugby)   

Judging panel
Erik Bonneval (beIN SPORTS), Bryan Habana (two-time Heineken Champions Cup winner), Lee McKenzie (Channel 4), Alan Quinlan (Virgin Media and two-time Heineken Champions Cup winner), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions and EPCR Challenge Cup winner).   

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 club rugby)