Ulster scrum-half John Cooney is among 15 nominees for the EPCR European Player of the Year 2020 award, with four other players who ply their trade in Ireland also shortlisted. 

Leinster have three players – Tadhg Furlong, Jordan Larmour and Garry Ringrose – included in the list by an expert panel of judges, while Marcell Coetzee of Ulster is also chosen.

Racing 92 and the Exeter Chiefs also have three nominees.

The in-form trio of Finn Russell, Teddy Thomas and Virimi Vakatawa feature for Racing, and Exeter have Luke Cowan-Dickie, Stuart Hogg and Sam Simmonds in the star-studded longlist, following their impressive qualification for the knockout stage of the Heineken Champions Cup.

The Toulouse pair of Jerome Kaino and Romain Ntamack get the vote of the judges as well.

ASM Clermont Auvergne centre George Moala is also nominated, while the brilliant Semi Radradra completes the list on behalf of Challenge Cup quarter-finalists Bordeaux Begles.

The winner will receive a specially struck gold medal, as well as the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy.

Voting for the award is now open here.

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

Players who have not been included in the initial list of 15, but who make a significant impact in a quarter-final or semi-final match, may be considered for the shortlist.

The voting will then reopen and the winner of the 2020 award will be announced following the Champions Cup final at the Stade Velodrome, Marseille on Saturday, 23 May.

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