Three Leinster stars make final shortlist for European Player of the Year
Just one La Rochelle player makes the five-man shortlist.
The final shortlist for the EPCR Player of the Year have been announced, with three Leinster stars joined by La Rochelle captain Gregory Alldritt and Toulouse star Antoine Dupont.
Garry Ringrose and Caelan Doris have both made the final cut, along with teammate Josh van der Flier. The current World Rugby Player of the Year is also the reigning EPCR Player of the Year after a stand-out 2021/22 season.
On the latest House of Rugby [LISTEN below], Greg O'Shea and Lindsay Peat discussed the red-hot form of three of the players up for the EPCR Player of the Year accolade - Antoine Dupont, Josh van der Flier and Gregory Alldritt.
Gregory Alldritt a big threat to Leinster, again
La Rochelle captain Gregory Alldritt is back in top form after a mini dip in the opening rounds of the Six Nations, including the rare sight of him being subbed off early in the Dublin defeat to Ireland.
It is somewhat surprising that scrum-halves Tawera Kerr-Barlow (La Rochelle) and Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster) were omitted from that final shortlist, given their red-hot form in the competition this season. Hugo Keenan is also unlucky to miss out.
𝐹𝒾𝓃𝒶𝓁 𝐹𝒾𝓋𝑒 for the 2023 EPCR Player of the Year 🥁
⭐️ Grégory Alldritt
⭐️ Caelan Doris
⭐️ Antoine Dupont
⭐️ Garry Ringrose
⭐️ Josh van der Flier
Who should win? Vote now 👉 https://t.co/rRIRpmCedR#HeinekenChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/jtkl7eLpNo
— Investec Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) May 3, 2023
Josh van der Flier won the award, last season, despite Leinster falling to La Rochelle in the final. Antoine Dupont was the 2021 recipient with Exeter's Sam Simmonds winning in 2020.
The previous Irish winners of the prize were Rob Kearney, Sean O'Brien and Ronan O'Gara, who was announced as the first ever recipient in recognition of his performances for Munster for over a dozen years in the tournament.
The judging panel that will decide on the winner are - Bryan Habana (two-time Heineken Champions Cup winner), Sarah Hunter (former England captain), Elma Smit (sports presenter and producer), Andy Goode (two-time Heineken Cup winner), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions and Challenge Cup winner)
WATCH HOUSE OF RUGBY:
- Jack Conan and Dan Sheehan star as Leinster thump Toulouse to set up dream final
- Antoine Dupont answered question about Wayne Barnes the only way he could
- James Lowe pens new contract with Leinster after staggering 18-month stretch
- Brian O’Driscoll puts into words what whole nation is feeling about Johnny Sexton
- The Jacques Nienaber team talk that had Munster players straining at the leash