Thursday 27 April 2017

Half-back duo nominated for gong

Tyler Bleyendaal, left, and Conor Murray in action for Munster against Racing 92 at Thomond Park. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Tyler Bleyendaal, left, and Conor Murray in action for Munster against Racing 92 at Thomond Park. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Two Munster players have been nominated for the EPCR European Player of the Year - presented by Turkish Airlines - with half-back partners Conor Murray and Tyler Bleyendaal two of ten names revealed to date.

In total, 15 players will be nominated for the award, with another five faces set to be revealed over the course of the next fortnight.

The duo have been instrumental in Munster's impressive drive through the group stages of the competition and they will likely play a key role again in a fortnight's time, as the two-time champions welcome Toulouse to Thomond Park for their last-eight clash.

Murray has played in all six of Munster's Champions Cup games this season, but has been kept busy with international duties in recent weeks. The scrum-half is actually joined by his Ireland team-mate Tadhg Furlong as one of the nominees for the award, voting for which will open on Monday, April 3.

After some injury woes marred his early time in Munster, Bleyendaal has been a rock for the province this season and he has started all six of their group games where he has accumulated the points. A try against Glasgow Warriors was the highlight, but the New Zealander has also slotted 13 conversions and 14 penalties for his side in a storming few months.

Bleyendaal and Murray are sure to attract plenty of votes from the Munster faithful, and the initial voting will see the candidates reduced to five favourites. The winner will then be decided on via a combination of the fans vote and the choice of a panel of rugby experts in May.

Irish Independent

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