Wilko on Euro shortlist

Fri, 17 May 2013 14:24
Large jonny wilkinson toulon dire Large julien bonnaire Large wesley fofana clermont Large jonny wilkinson toulon kick Large jamie heaslip ireland Large sitiveni sivivatu

It's down to the wire now for the five contenders shortlisted for the ERC European Player of the Year 2013.

It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in the Northern Hemisphere, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.

Following the decision of the judges to nominate the in-form quintet of Julien Bonnaire, Wesley Fofana and Sitiveni Sivivatu (all Clermont Auvergne) as well as Jamie Heaslip (Leinster) and Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon), the winner will be announced shortly after the conclusion of this weekend's Dublin 2013 finals.

The successful player will follow in the illustrious footsteps of the Leinster pair of Rob Kearney and Sean O'Brien - winners in 2012 and 2011 respectively - while Munster's Ronan O'Gara was the inaugural recipient of the honour as the leading player over the first 15 years of both tournaments.

The start of the search to select Kearney's successor was based on player performances during the pool stages of the European Cup and Challenge Cup and a longlist of 15 players which was announced in January.

The judges then had the option to consider players who made major contributions during the quarterfinals and semifinals of both tournaments and on that basis, Heaslip, Sivivatu and Wilkinson forced their way into the shortlist.

Heaslip has been a key figure in Leinster's storming run to Friday's Challenge Cup Final, while Sivivatu has been in irresistible form during Clermont push to Saturday's European Cup decider.

As for the durable Wilkinson, he has been the undoubted inspiration behind Toulon's drive for a first European title both with the legendary accuracy of his goal-kicking and his tactical acumen.

In addition to the decision of the judging panel, the 44 clubs in the European Cup and the Challenge Cup have had the opportunity to vote for contenders nominated on the shortlist while supporters have been having their say on Twitter using #ERCPlayer2013, as well as on the European Cup and Challenge Cup Facebook pages.

Julien Bonnaire
Club: ASM Clermont Auvergne
Age: 34
Position: Back row
Country: France (75 tests)
European Cup apps: 57
CC apps: 5
2012/13 P 8 Pts 10 (2T)

Inspirational leader during Clermont's drive to a first European Cup final. Superb all-round forward who has been consistency personified this season with a string of outstanding performances.

Wesley Fofana
Club: ASM Clermont Auvergne
Age: 25
Position: Centre
Country: France (15 tests)
European Cup apps: 22
2012/13 P 7 Pts 25 (5 tries)

If Bonnaire has been the stabilising influence, Fofana has once again proved to be Clermont's razor-sharp cutting edge. Moved to the wing by France but a constant threat in his best position of centre for Clermont with five tries to his name in the current campaign.

Jamie Heaslip
Club: Leinster
Age: 29
Position: No 8
Country: Ireland (57 tests)
European Cup apps: 59
CC apps: 2
2012/13 P 8 Pts 15 (3T)

Extremely solid, if unspectacular, in the early stage of Leinster's European campaign, Heaslip has exploded into peak form in the knockout phase of the Challenge Cup with stand-out displays against both London Wasps and Biarritz.

Sitiveni Sivivatu
Club: ASM Clermont Auvergne
Position: Wing
Country: New Zealand (45 tests)
Age: 31
European Cup apps: 13
2012/13 P 7 Pts 15 (3T)

An inspired signing by Clermont, Sivivatu might have been overshadowed by the brilliance of Fofana in the pool stage, but he has been devastating in the knockout games producing moments of breathtaking class particularly in the quarter-final win over Montpellier.

Jonny Wilkinson
Club: Toulon
Age: 33
Position: Out half
Country: England (91 tests)
European Cup apps: 20
CC apps: 37
2012/13 P 8 Pts 97 (25P, 2DG, 8C)

Toulon are more than a one-man band but Wilkinson undoubtedly wields the conductor's baton. Approaching 100 points for the European Cup season, he was responsible for all of his team's 45 points in the knockout games to date. Playing some of the best rugby of his career.

Highlanders vs Brumbies
sast: 09h35 | local: 11h35

  • |
Sat, 30 April 2016
Highlanders v Brumbies 07h35 Dunedin
Reds v Cheetahs 09h40 Brisbane
Border v Pumas 12h30 East London
Namibia v EP Kings 13h00 Windhoek
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Welford Road
Northampton Saints v Bath 14h15 Franklin's Gardens
Western Province v Golden Lions 14h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 14h30 Millennium Stadium
Ulster v Leinster 15h00 Kingspan Stadium
Lions v Hurricanes 15h05 Johannesburg
Dragons v Scarlets 17h00 Millennium Stadium
Stormers v Waratahs 17h10 Cape Town
Jaguares v Kings 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 01 May 2016
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 12h00 Sandy Park
London Irish v Harlequins 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons 14h15 Allianz Park
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 30 April 2016
Blues v Rebels 36 | 30
Fri, 29 April 2016
Munster v Edinburgh 27 | 19
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 70 | 10
Treviso v Connacht 22 | 21
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 11 | 12
Boland v Griquas 14 | 30
Force v Bulls 20 | 42
Chiefs v Sharks 24 | 22
Wed, 27 April 2016
Eagles v Leopards 26 | 21
Falcons v Griffons 26 | 49
Sun, 24 April 2016
Leicester Tigers v Racing Metro 16 | 19
Brumbies v Crusaders 14 | 40
Sat, 23 April 2016
Kings v Lions 10 | 45
Bath v Sale Sharks 32 | 26
Saracens v Wasps 24 | 17
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 6 0 0 28
Ulster 6 4 0 2 18
Oyonnax 6 1 0 5 7
Toulouse 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 16
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 16
Ospreys 6 3 0 3 16
Clermont Auvergne 6 3 0 3 15
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 6 4 1 1 22
Northampton Saints 6 4 1 1 19
Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 14
Scarlets 6 0 0 6 2
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leicester Tigers 6 5 0 1 23
Stade Francais 6 4 0 2 19
Munster 6 3 0 3 15
Treviso 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 0 2 20
Toulon 6 5 0 1 20
Bath 6 2 0 4 10
Leinster 6 1 0 5 6