Three Wasps named on European Player of the Year Awards
Wasps' George Smith, Elliot Daly and Charles Piutau named on EPRC player-of-year shortlist
Three Wasps have been named on the shortlist from which the eighth EPRC European Player of the Year will be named next month.
George Smith, Charles Piutau and Elliot Daly are among 11 Premiership-based names who are joined by four from the French Top 14.
Daly, who won his first England cap during the recent Six Nations, is an outsider for the award which will be determined by online voting from fans at www.finalslyon.com and the opinions of a five-strong expert judging panel.
However, Piutau and Smith, whose one-year stints at Wasps end next month when they joing Ulster and Santory respectively, both have an outstanding chance of lifting the prize, which includes one million air miles donated by sponsor Turkish Airlines.
All Black full back Piutau has torn Premiership defences apart at times this year, while also impressing with his powerful defence and ability to play in a range of positions
Meanwhile, Wallaby legend Smith has defied advancing years to play a key role within Wasps’ back row alongside Nathan Hughes and James Haskell. Many consider this to be the best loose forward trio in England, and possibly Europe, and a key component in the club’s twin assault on honours.
Saracens are the only other club with three nominees - Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell and George Kruis - all of whom will hope to become the first winner from a Premiership club.
In total nine of the 15 representatives take part in this weekend’s semi finals, and history shows that the winner usually comes from one of the finalists.
There have been three previous English winners, but Jonny Wilkinson, Nick Abendanon and Steffon Armitage were all playing in the Top 14 when successful.
Nominees: Steffon Armitage (RC Toulon), Dan Carter (Racing 92), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Niki Goneva (Leicester Tigers), Guilhem Guirado (RC Toulon), Juan Imhoff (Racing 92), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), George North (Northampton Saints), Charles Piutau (Wasps), George Smith (Wasps), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs).
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