European rugby chiefs on Wednesday announced the nominees for the EPCR Player of the Year award.
South Africa's Sharks, who have impressed in the Champions Cup, have four nominees with Springbok quartet Siya Kolisi, Eben Etzebeth, Makazole Mpimpi and Jaden Hendrikse all in line to win the coveted award.
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Irish giants Leinster also have four representatives, namely last year's winner Josh van der Flier, Garry Ringrose, Caelan Doris and Jamie Osborne.
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 coach and captain.
At the conclusion of the Champions Cup 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.
Players who have not been included in the initial 15-man list, but who make a significant impact during the knockout stages of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cups, may be considered for the shortlist.
Voting will then re-open and the winner of the 2023 award will be announced following the Champions Cup final at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday 20 May.
2023 EPCR Player for the Year nominees:
Gregory Alldritt (Stade Rochelais), Gavin Coombes (Munster Rugby), Caelan Doris (Leinster Rugby), 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 Rugby) Garry Ringrose (Leinster Rugby), Justin Tipiruc (Ospreys), Josh van der Flier (Leinster Rugby)
Bryan Habana (two-time Champions Cup winner), Sarah Hunter (former England captain), Elma Smit (sports presenter and producer), Andy Goode (two-time Champions 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)