Munster Rugby No.8 Gavin Coombes earned a place on the longlist for the EPCR Player of the Year award after a stunning Heineken Champions Cup pool stage campaign.
The 25-year-old crossed for a brace of tries in both Munster’s wins over Northampton Saints as they set up a Round of 16 tie at Cell C Sharks on April 1, making him one of the leading scorers so far in this season’s competition.
Coombes is also among the top performing players when it comes to carries, tallying 57 across four games, as well as being a major influence defensively, completing more tackles (67) than any other player and securing seven turnovers. Only four players have managed more.
YOUR EPCR PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES 📢
Agree with the judges' selection based on the #HeinekenChampionsCup pool stages?#EPOTY2023 voting is now open ➡️ https://t.co/98en54jQCn pic.twitter.com/RiJoJdaaab
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) February 1, 2023
2023 EPCR PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
Grégory ALLDRITT (Stade Rochelais)
Gavin COOMBES (Munster Rugby)
Caelan DORIS (Leinster Rugby)
Elliot DALY (Saracens)
Antoine DUPONT (Stade Toulousain)
Eben ETZEBETH (Cell C Sharks)
Jaden HENDRIKSE (Cell C Sharks)
Siya KOLISI (Cell C Sharks)
Makazole MAPIMPI (Cell C Sharks)
Julien MARCHAND (Stade Toulousain)
Emmanuel MEAFOU (Stade Toulousain)
Jamie OSBORNE (Leinster Rugby)
Garry RINGROSE (Leinster Rugby)
Justin TIPURIC (Ospreys)
Josh VAN DER FLIER (Leinster Rugby)
Judging Panel – Bryan Habana (two-time Heineken Champions Cup winner), Sarah Hunter (former England captain), Elma Smit (sports presenter and producer), Andy Goode (two-time Heineken Cup winner), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions and Challenge Cup winner)
Roll of Honour – 2022: Josh van der Flier (Leinster Rugby) ; 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)