Five Ireland-based players have been nominated for the 2018 European Player of the Year, including four Leinster players and Munster's Conor Murray.

Jonathan Sexton, Scott Fardy, Isa Nacewa and Tadhg Furlong have all been nominated as a result of their performances in the blue of Leinster, who boasted a 100 per cent record in the Champions Cup pool stages ahead of the upcoming quarter-finals.

Murray has also been recognised for his sterling showing in the Munster number nine shirt and is in line to land the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy and become the first Irish winner of the award since Rob Kearney earned the accolade in 2012.

Future Munster and former Leinster lock, Tadhg Beirne, is also nominated thanks to a fine season, thus far, at Scarlets. The Kildare native is set to play for the Thomond Park club next season.

Players from eight different clubs and all three European professional leagues are among the 15 nominees for the EPCR European award, presented by Turkish Airlines. 

Scott Fardy has lived up to the hype since his arrival in Dublin 4

La Rochelle's eye-catching Champions Cup debut has also earned nominations for Levani Botia, Dany Priso and Victor Vito, whilst the ASM Clermont Auvergne pair, Morgan Parra and Alivereti Raka, as well Beirne's Scarlets team-mate Gareth Davies, are included in the star-studded list which was selected by a panel of renowned rugby experts, including former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll. 

Last year's winner, Owen Farrell of Saracens, who received the inaugural Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy as well as one million air miles from Turkish Airlines, is included once again.

Voting for the award is open now on and fans will be in the running to win two VIP tickets to the Challenge Cup and Champions Cup finals in Bilbao next May with one night's accommodation courtesy of EPCR. 

The list will be reduced to five players in April following the Champions Cup semi-finals by a combination of the public vote and the verdict of the panel of judges. 

The voting will then be reopened and the winner of the 2018 award will be announced after the Champions Cup final in Bilbao on Saturday, 12 May. 

EPCR European Player of the Year award 2018 nominees 

Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets)
Levani Botia (La Rochelle)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets)
Scott Fardy (Leinster Rugby)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby)
Conor Murray (Munster Rugby)
Isa Nacewa (Leinster Rugby)
Leone Nakarawa (Racing 92)
Morgan Parra (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Dany Priso (La Rochelle)
Alivereti Raka (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Jonathan Sexton (Leinster Rugby)
Josua Tuisova (RC Toulon)
Victor Vito (La Rochelle)