Four Irish players have been included on the shortlist for the European Professional Club Rugby Player of the Year award for 2020.
einster Rugby, the No 1-ranked club going into the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals have three players – Tadhg Furlong, Jordan Larmour and Garry Ringrose – included in the list by an expert panel of judges, while Ulster's John Cooney and the northern province's South African star Marcell Coetzee also make the list.
Players from as many as seven elite clubs representing all three of Europe's leading professional leagues are among the 15 nominees for the prestigious EPCR European Player of the Year 2020 award.
The in-form trio of Finn Russell, Teddy Thomas and Virimi Vakatawa feature for Racing 92, and Exeter have Luke Cowan-Dickie, Stuart Hogg and Sam Simmonds in the star-studded longlist following their impressive qualification for the knockout stage of the Heineken Champions Cup.
The winner will receive a specially-struck gold medal as well as the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy.
Voting for the award is now open here and fans will be in the running to win two VIP tickets to the Heineken Champions Cup final in Marseille next May with one night’s accommodation courtesy of EPCR, and a signed jersey of one of the Heineken Champions Cup finalist clubs.
EPCR European Player of the Year 2020 award nominees:
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby)
Garry Ringrose (Leinster Rugby)
Jordan Larmour (Leinster Rugby)
John Cooney (Ulster Rugby)
Marcell Coetzee (Ulster Rugby)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs)
Jerome Kaino (Toulouse)
George Moala (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Romain Ntamack (Toulouse)
Semi Radradra (Bordeaux-Bègles)
Finn Russell (Racing 92)
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
Teddy Thomas (Racing 92)
Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92)
Judging Panel: Erik Bonneval (beIN SPORTS), Bryan Habana (Channel 4), Emmanuel Massicard (Midi Olympique), Sonja McLaughlan (BBC Radio 5 Live), Brian O’Driscoll (BT Sport), Alan Quinlan (Virgin Media), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions)
Roll of Honour – 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).