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Paul O'Connell to push ERC credentials versus Toulon

Updated: Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 13:38 | Comments

Munster's Paul O'Connell is the only Irishmmen on the ERC Player of the Year longlist playing this weekend
Munster's Paul O'Connell is the only Irishmmen on the ERC Player of the Year longlist playing this weekend

Munster's Paul O'Connell is the only ERC European Player of the Year nominated Irishman in action this weekend.

He will face Toulon's nominees Jonny Wilkinson, Steffon Armitage and Matt Giteau at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille on Sunday.

Alex Goode of Saracens and the ASM Clermont duo of Sitiveni Sivivatu and Fritz Lee are expected to figure in Saturday's Heineken Cup last-four contest at Twickenham Stadium.
 
In addition, another nominee from the pool stages, George North of Northampton Saints, will start on the left wing in tomorrow evening's Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final against Harlequins at Franklin's Gardens.

The search to select a successor to 2013 winner, Wilkinson, who guided the French club to a historic first Heineken Cup success last season, was based on player performances during the pool stages of the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup.

The judging panel also have the option to consider additional players who make major contributions during the quarter-finals and semi-finals of both tournaments before announcing a five-man shortlist following this weekend's matches with the winner named directly after next month's Cardiff 2014 finals.

In tandem with the decision of the panel, the 44 clubs in the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup will have the opportunity to vote for contenders on the ERC European Player of the Year 2014 shortlist while supporters can also have their say on Twitter using #ERCPlayer2014, and on the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup Facebook pages.

ERC European Player of the Year 2014 longlist
Steffon Armitage (Toulon)
Miles Benjamin (Leicester Tigers)
Sean Cronin (Leinster Rugby)
Jean-Marc Doussain (Toulouse)
Matt Giteau (Toulon)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Cian Healy (Leinster Rugby)
Fritz Lee (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
George North (Northampton Saints)
Paul O'Connell (Munster Rugby)
Peter O'Mahony (Munster Rugby)
Louis Picamoles (Toulouse)
Ruan Pienaar (Ulster Rugby)
Sitiveni Sivivatu (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)

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