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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 27 January 2021

At least Clermont won one consolation prize after their latest European heartbreak

Nick Abendanon was named European Player of the Year today.

Abendanon improvised for a brilliant try but it wasn't enough to deny Toulon.
Abendanon improvised for a brilliant try but it wasn't enough to deny Toulon.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

HE MAY HAVE come out on the losing side of the Champions Cup final but Nick Abendanon can enjoy some consolation after he was named the EPCR European Player of the Year 2015.

Abendanon was presented with the award on Tuesday following an outstanding season which ended with a try in Clermont’s 24-18 defeat to Top 14 rivals Toulon.

The English full-back put up “consistent world-class performances,” the EPCR said, to beat team-mate Fritz Lee and 2014 winner Steffon Armitage of Toulon. Saracens’ Billy Vunipola and Leinster’s Jamie Heaslip completed the five-man shortlist.

Abendanon started all nine of Clermont’s European matches, scoring four tries and making 929 metres in total carries.

try This man can't get into the England squad!

“It’s obviously a huge honour to receive this accolade, especially with the great players who have received it in years past,” Abendanon said.

“I want to thank everyone involved at Clermont for the help, support and character shown throughout the year.

I realise that this is an individual award but it is, for me, a recognition of the players around me who have shown such resolve and endeavour during a tough European season. I would therefore like to accept it on behalf of the whole squad as a small consolation for Saturday’s disappointment.

Ronan O’Gara (2010), Sean O’Brien (2011) and Rob Kearney (2012) won the first three awards before Toulon duo Jonny Wilkinson (2013) and Armitage (2014) started a period of French dominance.

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Niall Kelly

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