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Racing's Nakarawa pips Leinster trio to win European Player of the Year

Johnny Sexton, Scott Fardy and Tadhg Furlong had made the shortlist for the prize.

Leone Nakarawa is presented with the Anthony Foley Memorial Award by Olive Foley and her son Tony Leone Nakarawa is presented with the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy by Olive Foley and her son Tony. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

LEONE NAKARAWA WAS named EPCR European Player of the Year on Saturday evening despite Racing 92′s disappointing defeat against Leinster in the Champions Cup final.

The Fijian lock was recognised as the outstanding player of the tournament, beating his team-mate Maxime Machenaud as well as a trio of Leinster’s Bilbao’s heroes.

Johnny Sexton, Scott Fardy and Tadhg Furlong all made the shortlist for the prize which was voted on by a combination of the public and an expert panel, which included Leinster and Ireland great Brian O’Driscoll.

No Irish player has won the prize since Rob Kearney in 2012, and that was the case again today as Nakarawa topped the pile to claim the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy — presented on the pitch at the San Mamés Stadium by Foley’s wife Olive and his son Tony.

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Niall Kelly

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