Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg short-listed for European player of the year award

Scots make up two-fifths of final five ahead of their showdown in Heineken Champions Cup final

Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 3:28 pm
Stand-off Finn Russell showed his class in Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup semi-final win over Saracens. Picture: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Stand-off Finn Russell showed his class in Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup semi-final win over Saracens. Picture: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Scotland’s two world-class star players, Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg, are preparing to face each other in the Heineken Champions Cup final and will also battle for the EPCR European Player of the Year award.

The pair, both 28, who are former clubmates at Glasgow Warriors, have been rewarded for stellar performances with Racing 92 and Exeter Chiefs. No Scot has won the award since it was launched ten years ago.

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The 15 initial nominees were trimmed to five based on the combined verdict of a panel of rugby experts and a public vote.

Racing stand-off Russell and Exeter full-back Hogg, who is captain of Scotland, helped their clubs reach the Heineken Champions Cup final at Ashton Gate next month after semi-final wins on Saturday against Saracens and Toulouse.

Exeter are represented by the leading try scorer in this season’s tournament Sam Simmonds while Russell is joined by his Racing team-mate and France wing Virimi Vakatawa.

Fiji wing Semi Radradra completes the quintet on the back of eye-catching performances in the European Rugby Challenge Cup for Bordeaux-Bègles during the pool stage, including games against Edinburgh, and more recently for finalists Bristol Bears.

Voting has now reopened on epcrugby.com/epoty and the winner and recipient of the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy will be announced following the Heineken Champions Cup final in Bristol on Saturday 17 October.

Scotland skipper Stuart Hogg in action for Exeter Chiefs against Toulouse at Sandy Park on Saturday. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

EPCR European Player of the Year shortlist

STUART HOGG (Exeter Chiefs)

SEMI RADRADRA (Bristol Bears/Bordeaux-Bègles)

FINN RUSSELL (Racing 92)

SAM SIMMONDS (Exeter Chiefs)

VIRIMI VAKATAWA (Racing 92)

Judging panel

Erik Bonneval (beIN SPORTS), Bryan Habana (Channel 4), Emmanuel Massicard (Midi Olympique), Sonja McLaughlan (BBC Radio 5 Live), Brian O’Driscoll (BT Sport), Alan Quinlan (Virgin Media), Dimitri Yachvili (France Télévisions)

Roll of Honour

2019: Alex Goode (Saracens)

2018: Leone Nakarawa (Racing 92)

2017: Owen Farrell (Saracens)

2016: Maro Itoje (Saracens)

2015: Nick Abendanon (ASM Clermont Auvergne)

2014: Steffon Armitage (RC Toulon)

2013: Jonny Wilkinson (RC Toulon)

2012: Rob Kearney (Leinster)

2011: Sean O’Brien (Leinster)

2010: Ronan O’Gara (Munster – best player of first 15 years of European club rugby)

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