Stade Toulousain captain Julien Marchand is among the nominees for the 2023 EPCR Player of the Year award after leading the five-time champions to four straight wins in this season’s pool stage.
The France hooker was as reliable as ever in the front row, starting all four games as he marshalled the TOP 14 outfit’s pack to two victories apiece over Munster Rugby and Sale Sharks.
In addition to his quality in the scrum and at the lineout, Marchand has been a threat in the loose, securing a staggering eight turnovers – the joint-second most in the competition so far.
The 27-year-old’s experience and class will be vital to Toulouse in the Round of 16 as they welcome South African debutants Vodacom Bulls to Le Stadium on April 2.
Julien Marchand's been immense in defence and a bull in attack this season 😤
Has the @StadeToulousain hooker been your #EPOTY2023 so far?
Vote now ➡️ https://t.co/exmnXQ5YO6 pic.twitter.com/JwVyqzqIEI
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) February 21, 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)