George North has been in fine form for the Saints © www.redhatphoto.com
Rugby News North in the running for European Player of the Year
Saints wing George North has been included on a star-studded 15-man longlist for the ERC European Player of the Year 2014.
The Welshman featured in each of the Saints’ six games in the ‘Pool of Death’ and was among the tournament’s top five metre makers, scoring a crucial try in the epic win at Leinster before inspiring the men in black, green and gold with an 80-metre solo score at Ospreys in Round 4.
While the Saints missed out on Heineken Cup qualification by one spot – they finished the Pool stages as the ninth ranked side – their European hopes remain alive through the Amlin Challenge Cup and North can further stake his claim for the Player of the Year award when the Saints head to Sale for an April quarter final.
The Judging Panel will also have the option to consider additional players who make major contributions during the knockout stages of both tournaments before announcing a five-man shortlist following the semi-finals. The overall winner will be named immediatley after the finals in Cardiff in May.
In addition to the decision of the panel, the 44 clubs in the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup will have the opportunity to vote for contenders nominated on the ERC European Player of the Year 2014 shortlist while supporters can also have their say on Twitter using #ERCPlayer2014, and on the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup Facebook pages.
ERC European Player of the Year 2014 longlist
Steffon Armitage (Toulon)
Miles Benjamin (Leicester Tigers)
Sean Cronin (Leinster Rugby)
Jean-Marc Doussain (Toulouse)
Matt Giteau (Toulon)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Cian Healy (Leinster Rugby)
Fritz Lee (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
George North (Northampton Saints)
Paul O'Connell (Munster Rugby)
Peter O'Mahony (Munster Rugby)
Louis Picamoles (Toulouse)
Ruan Pienaar (Ulster Rugby)
Sitiveni Sivivatu (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)