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Rugby | Four Irish players nominated for European Player of the Year

Four Irish rugby players have been named on a 15-man long-list for the EPCR European Player of the Year 2020 award.

Ulster star John Cooney joins Leinster trio Tadhg Furlong, Jordan Larmour and Garry Ringrose among the nominees for the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy.

Saracens star Alex Goode claimed last year's award, with Rob Kearney (2012) the last Irish player to win the European gong.

Leinster, Racing 92 and the Exeter Chiefs have three nominees apiece, with two from both Ulster and Toulouse, and one from Clermont Auvergne and Bordeaux-Bègles.

Exeter have England internationals Luke Cowan-Dickie and Sam Simmonds, as well as Scottish star Stuart Hogg.

Scotland international Finn Russell joins France international stars Teddy Thomas and Virimi Vakatawa as Racing 92's representatives.

France international Romain Ntamack and former All Black Jerome Kaino are Toulouse's inclusions on the list, while Cooney's Ulster teammate Marcell Coetzee has also been included, completing the list alongside Fiji star Semi Radrada (Bordeaux-Bègles) and George Moala (Clermont Auvergne).

The list - which was compiled by an expert panel of judges - will be whittled down to five players in May by a combination of the public vote and the verdict of the judges.

Other players who shine in the latter stages of the Champions Cup could also come into the reckoning for the final shortlist.

The winner of the award will be announced on May 23rd after the Champions Cup final in Marseille.

Voting is now open here.

EPCR European Player of the Year 2020 award nominees:

Marcell Coetzee (Ulster Rugby) John Cooney (Ulster Rugby) Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs) Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby) Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) Jerome Kaino (Toulouse) Jordan Larmour (Leinster Rugby) George Moala (ASM Clermont Auvergne) Romain Ntamack (Toulouse) Semi Radradra (Bordeaux-Bègles) Garry Ringrose (Leinster Rugby) Finn Russell (Racing 92) Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs) Teddy Thomas (Racing 92) Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92)

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