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Ulster-bound Piutau among 11 Premiership players nominated for European Rugby Player of the Year

Dan Carter’s in there too, but the EPCR panel couldn’t find room for any Irish players.

Image: Simon Cooper

EPCR HAVE TODAY unveiled their 15-man shortlist for European Rugby Player of the Year.

Obviously, there are no Irish representatives as the island’s three Champions Cup provinces crashed out before the knockout stage (though Connacht’s Challenge Cup exploits were not rewarded either).

In that void, Premiership sides dominate the selection with just four Top 14 players alongside 11 based in England.

Saracens are the best-represented club with forwards Maro Itoje, George Kruis and Billy Vunipola joined by Owen Farrell. Wasps are close behind with the inclusion of veteran George Smith, centre Elliot Daly and Ulster-bound All Black fullback Charles Piutau.

Northampton Saints v Racing 92 - European Champions Cup - Pool Three - Franklins Gardens DC, one of four French-based players included in the shortlist. Source: David Davies

Harlequins are the only team to be represented from outside the Champions Cup. The Challenge Cup semi-finalists can boast about the inclusion of back row Jack Clifford alongside the only French-based representatives left in the Champions Cup – Dan Carter and Juan Imhoff.

The winner will be judged by a panel consisting of Dimitri Yachvili, Midi Olympique editor Emmanuel Massicard, Stuart Barnes, Mick Cleary of the Telegraph and Matthieu Lartot.

Who would get your vote?

Steffon Armitage (RC Toulon)
Dan Carter (Racing 92)
Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Vereniki Goneva (Leicester Tigers)
Guilhem Guirado (RC Toulon)
Juan Imhoff (Racing 92)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
George North (Northampton Saints)
Charles Piutau (Wasps)
George Smith (Wasps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs)

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Sean Farrell

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