Saracens star Owen Farrell has been named the EPCR European Player of the Year and become the first player to receive the new Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy.

Foley died suddenly aged 42 last October, his passing triggering an enormous outpouring of grief across the world of rugby, and the EPCR has now commissioned a special trophy to honour the two-time Heineken Cup winner's unique contribution to European rugby.

Farrell won the award following a combination of public voting and the opinions of a panel of experts.

"This is a fitting way to honour Anthony's memory. He was a great player and a great leader as well as a galvanising force in Munster's European odyssey," said EPCR chairman Simon Halliday.

"I would like to thank the Foley family and Munster Rugby for allowing us create this trophy for now and for the future."

England and Lions star Farrell claimed the honour after playing a crucial role as Saracens retained the Champions Cup with a 28-17 win over Clermont Auvergne at Murrayfield.

The out-half beat out team-mate and 2016 winner Maro Itoje, Camille Lopez (ASM Clermont Auvergne), Garry Ringrose (Leinster) and CJ Stander (Munster).

Foley made 86 European Cup appearances for his province, played in three finals and famously captained the side to their first final victory in 2006.

He remains Munster's top try scorer in Europe with 23. He also played 62 times for Ireland, captaining his country on three occasions, before moving into coaching and eventually taking over as Munster's head coach in 2014.