Leinster trio in the mix for European Player of the Year award

Caelan Doris, Jimmy O’Brien and Josh van der Flier included on longlist

Leinster are the most heavily represented team on the longlist of nominees for the 2022 EPCR European Player of the Year, with three players named, Caelan Doris, Jimmy O'Brien and Josh van der Flier, while Ulster's Michael Lowry and Munster's Jack O'Donoghue also feature.

Doris and Van der Flier have been in outstanding form as ever presents in Leinster’s three wins, with the latter scoring four tries, while

O'Brien added to his try in the win over Montpellier by becoming the first player to score four tries for the province in a European fixture when he starred in the comprehensive Round 4 victory over Bath.

Lowry has been in scintillating form for the Ulster, topping the statistics categories in Metres (563), Defenders Beaten (23) and Line Breaks (8).


The winner of the award, which is in its 12th season, will receive the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy in memory of the former Munster head coach and captain. Voting is now open to fans, who will be in the running to win a signed ball and a signed jersey courtesy of one of the Heineken Champions Cup finalist clubs.

The list will be reduced to five players following the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup semi-finals in May, by a combination of the public vote and the verdict of the judging panel, and players who have not been included in the initial longlist, but who make a significant impact during the knockout stages, may be considered for the shortlist.

The voting will then re-open and the winner of the 2022 award will be announced following the Heineken Champions Cup final in Marseille on Saturday, May 28th.

2022 EPCR European Player of the Year nominees

Grégory Alldritt (Stade Rochelais)

Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)

Caelan Doris (Leinster Rugby)

Antoine Dupont (Stade Toulousain)

Gaël Fickou (Racing 92)

George Ford (Leicester Tigers)

Michael Lowry (Ulster Rugby)

Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster Rugby)

Jack O’Donoghue (Munster Rugby)

Damian Penaud (Asm Clermont Auvergne)

Semi Radradra (Bristol Bears)

Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)

Marcus Smith (Harlequins)

Josh van der Flier (Leinster Rugby)

Cameron Woki (Union Bordeaux-Bègles)

Judging Panel - Erik Bonneval (beIN SPORTS), Bryan Habana (two-time Heineken Champions Cup winner), Lee McKenzie (Channel 4), Alan Quinlan (Virgin Media), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions)

Roll of Honour - 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)

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times