Durban – The Sharks’ impressive campaign in the Heineken Champions Cup has been rewarded with four of their players being nominated for the competition’s Player of the Year.
Forwards Eben Etzebeth and Siya Kolisi and backs Jaden Hendrikse and Makazole Mapimpi are the only South Africans to make the list of nominees.
Leinster also have four representatives in Garry Ringrose, Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier (the current Player of the Year) and Jamie Osborne.
In addition, Antoine Dupont, winner in 2021, and Julien Marchand of Stade Toulousain, have made the elite list along with Grégory Alldritt of Stade Rochelais, Saracens’ Elliot Daly and one of the world’s most gifted loose forwards, Justin Tipuric of the Ospreys.
The winner of the award, which is now in its 13th year, will receive the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy in memory of the former Munster Rugby head coach and captain.
Fans are encouraged to vote on line and they will be in the running to win two VIP tickets with one night’s accommodation for the 2024 Heineken Champions Cup final in May 2024. Voting is now open HERE and fans will be in the running to win two VIP tickets with one night’s accommodation for the final next year.
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At the conclusion of the semi-final matches in April, the list will be reduced to five players by a combination of the public vote and the verdict of the judges, and players who have not been included in the initial long list, but who make a significant impact during the knockout stages of the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup, may be considered for the shortlist.
The voting will then re-open and the winner of the 2023 award will be announced following the Heineken Champions Cup final at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday, May 20.
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2023 EPCR Player of the Year nominees
Grégory Alldritt (Stade Rochelais)
Gavin Coombes (Munster)
Caelan Doris (Leinster)
Elliot Daly (Saracens)
Antoine DUPONT (Stade Toulousain)
Eben Etzebeth (Sharks)
Jaden Hendrikse (Sharks)
Siya Kolisi (Sharks)
Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks)
Julien Marchand (Stade Toulousain)
Emmanuel Meafou (Stade Toulousain)
Jamie Osborne (Leinster)
Garry Ringrose (Leinster)
Justin Tipuric (Ospreys)
Josh van der Flier (Leinster)
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)