SPORTS

Radradra, Vakatawa In Europe Top 5

Semi Radradra and Virimi Vakatawa have been shortlisted for the 2020 EPCR European Player of the Year award. The dominance of Fijians playing in Europe continues with the two Fijians
01 Oct 2020 12:24
Radradra, Vakatawa In Europe Top 5
Fiji Airways Flying Fijian star Semi Radradra and France-based Fijian rugby player Virimi Vakatawa.

Semi Radradra and Virimi Vakatawa have been shortlisted for the 2020 EPCR European Player of the Year award.

The dominance of Fijians playing in Europe continues with the two Fijians getting the nod with two Scots and one Englishman for the prestigious Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy.

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

Leone Nakarawa won the award while with Racing 92 in France in 2018.

Radradra’s selection comes on the back of a stellar series of performances in the European Rugby Challenge Cup for Bordeaux-Bègles during the pool stage, and more recently for finalists, Bristol Bears.

The final five includes four players whose performances were vital in taking their clubs to the Heineken Champions Cup final at Ashton Gate on October 17. Exeter are represented by the leading try scorer in this season’s tournament, Sam Simmonds, as well as Stuart Hogg, whose international colleague Finn Russell makes it onto the list for Racing, alongside Virimi Vakatawa.

Dubbed the ‘demolition man’ for his devastating form for France in sevens and 15s, the Naluwai, Naitasiri native is reported to be on wanted list by three Premiership clubs Bath, Gloucester and Northampton Saints.

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 between Racing 92 and Exeter Chiefs in Bristol this month.

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 Télévision)

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 Rugby)

2011: Sean O’Brien (Leinster Rugby),

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

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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