Five Irish-based players on European Player of the Year longlist

Tadhg Furlong is nominated for the third year in a row.

Five Irish-based players on European Player of the Year longlist

Leinster and Ulster players make up five of the 15 nominees for the 2020 EPCR European Player of the Year award.

Jordan Larmour gets a nod after a season in which he has made the Leinster full-back jersey his own, starting all six Champions Cup games as he edged ahead of former European Player of the Year Rob Kearney in the pecking order.

He's joined on the longlist by Tadhg Furlong and Garry Ringrose, who have both previously been included among the nominees for the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy. It's Furlong's third year in a row to be nominated.

Ulster scrum-half John Cooney features after a pool stage in which he was the top scorer with 71 points, while his teammate Marcell Coetzee is also nominated after the northern province progressed to the quarter-finals.

Ringrose's fellow leading try-scorers, Sam Simmonds and Teddy Thomas, on six tries each, are all on the star-studded longlist, with two further nominations each for their Exeter (Luke Cowan-Dickie and Stuart Hogg) and Racing 92 (Finn Russell and Virimi Vakatawa) teammates.

The 15-man list is completed by the Toulouse duo of Jerome Kaino and Romain Ntamack, Clermont Auvergne centre George Moala, and Bordeaux-Bègles' Semi Radradra, who has shone in the Challenge Cup.

The expert panel of judges who decided the list comprised of Alan Quinlan (Virgin Media), Brian O’Driscoll (BT Sport), Bryan Habana (Channel 4), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions), Emmanuel Massicard (Midi Olympique), Erik Bonneval (beIN SPORTS), and Sonja McLaughlan (BBC Radio 5 Live).

Voting for the award is now open, with a combination of the public vote and the judges' verdict used to select a shortlist of five players in early May. Players who were not included in the initial longlist but make a significant impact in a quarter- or semi-finals may still be considered.

The winner will be announced after the Heineken Champions Cup final at the Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, on Saturday, May 23.

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