Apr 24, 2019
Mako and Goode on five-man European shortlist
Alex Goode and Mako Vunipola are on a five-man shortlist for the prestigious EPCR European Player of the Year.
Initially a 15-player list, the nominees from the pool stage have been reduced to five based on the combined verdict of a distinguished panel of rugby experts and a public vote.
Full-back Goode has played every minute of the tournament so far, including a sterling performance from fly-half in the quarter-final against Glasgow Warriors. He has beaten 25 defenders and made eight clean breaks in the club’s run to the final and he will hope to emulate fellow Academy graduates Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell in winning the award.
Vunipola has featured in six matches for Saracens and has produced some superb performances. The England prop was named man of the match in the away win at Cardiff Blues and again at Lyon. His distribution, physicality and carrying have been particular highlights.
The five-man list is dominated by the Heineken Champions Cup finalists with Leinster’s Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong and Garry Ringrose up for the prized individual accolade.
Voting has now reopened on epcrugby.com/epoty and the winner and recipient of the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy will be announced following the Heineken Champions Cup final at St James’ Park on Saturday 11th May.
EPCR European Player of the Year 2019 shortlist:
Sean Cronin (Leinster Rugby)
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Garry Ringrose (Leinster Rugby)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
2018/19 panel of judges:
Bryan Habana (Channel 4), Chris Jones (BBC Radio 5 Live), Mathieu Lartot (France Télévisions), Emmanuel Massicard (Midi Olympique), Brian O’Driscoll (BT Sport), Dimitri Yachvili (beIN SPORTS).
Roll of Honour:
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 club rugby)