Yet again, a selection of men from assorted clubs will be in competition to claim European Player of the Year 2021.
Picked from all sides apart from the Gallagher Premiership, to discover the one player from French Top 14, and the Guinness PRO14 leagues who are judged by both in a public vote and most importantly, the final name will be judged by a select group of influential pundits and commentators.
With the hashtag #EPOTY2021 trending, the video and selected highlights of each one of the 15 is only a sample of why those names are present. With players from as many as seven countries – Australia, Fiji, France, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and South Africa – getting the initial vote of the judges, Matthieu Jalibert of Bordeaux-Bègles and ASM Clermont Auvergne’s Kotaro Matsushima complete the star-studded longlist following their outstanding performances.
The list will be reduced to five players in early May, following the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup semi-finals, by a combination of the public vote and the verdict of the judges*.
Meet the European Player of the Year nominees
Voting for the 2020-21 European Player of the Year is NOW OPEN 🚨
Which player has impressed you most this season? 🤩
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) April 14, 2021
Each of the names drafted below has contributed towards their team’s success. And the winner of the European Player of the Year 2021 award will be announced following the Heineken Champions Cup final on Saturday, 22 May.
Grégory ALLDRITT (La Rochelle)
Levani BOTIA (La Rochelle)
Antoine DUPONT (Toulouse)
Tadhg FURLONG (Leinster Rugby)
Kevin GOURDON (La Rochelle)
Robbie HENSHAW (Leinster Rugby)
Matthieu JALIBERT (Bordeaux-Bègles)
Jerome KAINO (Toulouse)
Hugo KEENAN (Leinster Rugby)
Julien MARCHAND (Toulouse)
Kotaro MATSUSHIMA (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Romain NTAMACK (Toulouse)
Raymond RHULE (La Rochelle)
Will SKELTON (La Rochelle)
Josh VAN DER FLIER (Leinster Rugby)
Judging Panel* – Erik Bonneval (beIN SPORTS), Bryan Habana (Channel 4), Sonja McLaughlan (BBC Radio 5 Live), Alan Quinlan (Virgin Media), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions)
Place your vote here, and be in to win a signed ball and jersey.
European Rugby Champions Cup/Challenge Cup semifinals April 30 – May 2
“Main photo credit – Graphic courtesy of EPRC (2021)”