SCOTLAND internationals Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell have both been named on the shortlist of five for the European Player of the Year award. Full-back Hogg is joined on the list by his Exeter Chiefs team-mate Sam Simmonds, while Racing 92 playmaker Russell is accompanied by his French international clubmate Virimi Vakata in a quintet which is completed by Fijian Semi Radradra of Bristol Bears.

Hogg and Simmonds, a back-row forward who is the top try-scorer in this season’s Champions Cup, have been instrumental in Exeter’s progress to their first final. Russell and Vakatawa have been equally important members of the Racing team that has also won through to the final, while Radradra has been a key player in the Challenge Cup both with his current club and previously in the pool stages with Bordeaux-Begles. Bristol will play Toulon in the final of that competition.

The five players were selected from a longlist of 15 by the combined verdict of a public vote and a panel of rugby experts. Voting to decide on the winner is now open at, and the chosen player will be announced after the Champions Cup final on Saturday 17 October. The award, known as the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy in honour of the late Munster coach, is run by European Professional Club Rugby, the body which administers both the Champions and Challenge Cups.

The judges who helped decide the shortlist were: Erik Bonneval for beIN Sports, Bryan Habana for Channel 4, Emmanuel Massicard of Midi Olympique, Sonja McLaughlan of Radio 5 Live, BT Sport analyst Brian O’Driscoll, Alan Quinlan of Virgin Media, and Dimitri Yachvili of France Télévisions.

Last year’s winner was Alex Goode of Saracens, whose defence of the Champions Cup was ended in Saturday’s semi-final by Racing 92. Glasgow’s Leone Nakarawa won in 2018 when still with Racing.

EPCR European Player of the Year shortlist Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) Semi Radradra (Bristol Bears/Bordeaux-Bègles) Finn Russell (Racing 92) Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs) Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92) (ends)