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Beirne among four Irishmen nominated for European Player of the Year

Conor Murray, Tadhg Furlong and Johnny Sexton are also in the mix.

OUTSTANDING SCARLETS LOCK Tadhg Beirne has been nominated for EPCR’s 2018 European Player of the Year award, joining fellow Irishmen Conor Murray, Johnny Sexton and Tadhg Furlong on the 15-man longlist.

Tadhg Beirne Beirne has been superb for the Scarlets again this season. Source: Ashley Crowden/INPHO

Former Leinster forward Beirne has been superb for the Scarlets in this season’s Champions Cup, playing in the back row and second row, ahead of his move to Munster this summer.

Munster’s Murray has been impressive at scrum-half as the southern province secured a home quarter-final against Toulon, while Ireland out-half Sexton and tighthead Furlong were exceptional in Leinster’s clean sweep of Pool 3.

Joining those four Irishmen on the longlist are the influential Leinster pair Isa Nacewa and Scott Fardy, whose leadership and skill have stood out.

2017 winner Owen Farrell is back among the nominees, while Leone Nakarawa, Morgan Parra and La Rochelle’s Victor Vito are also in the mix.

Public voting for the award is now open here, and the longlist will be reduced down to five players in April following the Champions Cup semi-finals through a combination of the public vote and the opinions of a judging panel.

That panel is made up by Brian O’Driscoll, former France scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili, Sky Sports’ Stuart Barnes and journalists Chris Jones [BBC Radio 5 Live], Emmanuel Massicard [Midi Olympique] and Matthieu Lartot [France Télévisions].

Once the five-player shortlist has been decided, voting will reopen and the winner will be announced after the Champions Cup final on 12 May.

Previous Irish winners of the award are Rob Kearney, Sean O’Brien and Ronan O’Gara.

EPCR 2018 European Player of the Year nominees: 

Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets)
Levani Botia (La Rochelle)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets)
Scott Fardy (Leinster)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster)
Conor Murray (Munster)
Isa Nacewa (Leinster)
Leone Nakarawa (Racing 92)
Morgan Parra (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Dany Priso (La Rochelle)
Alivereti Raka (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Jonathan Sexton (Leinster Rugby)
Josua Tuisova (RC Toulon)
Victor Vito (La Rochelle)

- This article was updated at 8.15pm to correct ‘against’ to ‘again’ in the caption under the photograph.

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Murray Kinsella

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