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Chris Ashton and Jonny Wilkinson on shortlist for ERC Player of the Year

Three Saracens players and two Toulon men have made the cut ahead of the Heineken Cup final.

Wilkinson has kicked 100 points in this season's Heineken Cup.
Wilkinson has kicked 100 points in this season's Heineken Cup.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

ENGLISH INTERNATIONALS CHRIS Ashton, Jonny Wilkinson and Steffon Armitage have been included in the ERC’s final shortlist for their 2014 Player of the Year award.

The five-man list also includes Saracens’ skillful hooker Schalk Brits and hard-working back row Jacques Burger. The winner of the award will be announced following the Heineken Cup final in Cardiff on the 24th of May.

The decision will be made by the ERC’s judging panel, which includes Gerry Thornley of The Irish Times, as well as taking into account the votes of the 44 clubs involved in European action this season and those of rugby fans across the continent.

Ashton’s record-breaking 11 tries so far in the Heineken Cup make him a strong contender, although teammate Brits has arguably been even more important to Sarries’ strong performances in reaching the final.

Namibian international Burger has impressed with his defensive efforts, most notably against Clermont in last weekend’s semi-final when he made 27 tackles and missed none.

Toulon captain Wilkinson is the leading points scorer ahead of next month’s game, currently standing on the 100 mark, while five-times capped Armitage has been superb in his all-round play throughout the tournament.

Final shortlist for 2014 ERC Player of the Year: Jacques Burger [Saracens], Jonny Wilkinson [Toulon], Chris Ashton [Saracens], Steffon Armitage [Toulon], Schalk Brits [Saracens].

Judging Panel: Stuart Barnes [Sky Sports], Mick Cleary [Daily Telegraph Rugby Correspondent], Emmanuel Massicard [Editor, Midi Olympique], Emile Ntamack [three-time Heineken Cup winner with Toulouse] and Gerry Thornley [Irish Times Rugby Correspondent].

Who would be your pick as ERC Player of the Year? Who is missing from the shortlist?

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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