It should come as no surprise that the shortlist for the coveted European Player of the Year award is dominated by the names of Exeter Chiefs and Racing 92 representatives.
Exeter and Racing have each enjoyed a fantastic season which will culminate with them locking horns in the Champions Cup final on 17 October, after which the winner of the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy will be announced.
Last season’s winner was none other than Saracens’ Alex Goode, who deserves mention for his performance this season, especially for stepping into the role of the suspended Owen Farrell with such aplomb.
It will not be an easy call this time around, the judges having to choose a winner amongst names like Sam Simmonds and Stuart Hogg (Exeter), Finn Russell and Virimi Vakatawa (Racing) and Bristol’s brilliant Semi Radradra.
Simmonds, with his formidable and consistent performances, is the only forward representative yet offers a strong case for his name on the trophy.
The sheer attacking brilliance of Hogg, Russell, Vakatawa and Radradra need no introduction and all three men are worthy of the title on the basis of the excitement they bring to every game they are involved in. With the exception of Radradra, the other three still have one more opportunity to edge each other out come the Champuions Cup final.