Cell C Sharks captain Siya Kolisi has been named on the EPCR Player of the Year long list after finishing joint second in the offloads category following the pool stage of the Heineken Champions Cup.
The 31-year-old flanker notched eight as he led the South African side into third place in Pool A and a home Round of 16 tie against Munster Rugby on April 1.
South Africa’s 2019 World Cup-winning captain played in every minute of Cell C Sharks’ four pool games against Harlequins and Union Bordeaux-Bègles, skippering them to three victories in a row before they lost their Round 4 tie 39-29 at Harlequins.
He is one of four Cell C Sharks players among the nominees for the prestigious award in their maiden season in the Heineken Champions Cup. The others are lock Eben Etzebeth, scrum-half Jaden Hendrikse and wing Makazole Mapimpi.
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)