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Fijian pair receive European accolade

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Exciting Fijian pair recognised among Europe's best

Edinburgh and Fiji Number Eight Bill Mata has been recognised as one of European rugby’s best players after being nominated for the prestigious EPCR European Player of the Year award.

Mata made headlines recently for a silky offload he produced against Toulon.

Last year’s winner also hails from Fiji, Racing 92 and Fijian national team forward Leone Nakarawa. Nakarawa is up for the award again, as are his Racing 92 teammates Finn Russell and Simon Zebo.

Nakarawa’s Racing are set for a massive Champions Cup quarter-finals clash against Toulouse, who have two Player of the Year nominees within their ranks in halfback Antoine Dupont and wing Cheslin Kolbe.

Irish players assume over half of the 15 available nominee slots with eight players nominated. England have just two representatives in Saracens Alex Goode and Mako Vunipola.

Current Cup holders Leinster have three nominees in the form of Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong and Garry Ringrose.

The current list of 15 will be culled to five finalists in April after the Champions Cup semi-finals. The top five will be decided by a combination of the public vote and a panel of judges.

EPCR European Player of the Year award 2019 nominees:
Tadhg BEIRNE (Munster Rugby)
Joey CARBERY (Munster Rugby)
Sean CRONIN (Leinster Rugby)
Antoine DUPONT (Toulouse)
Tadhg FURLONG (Leinster Rugby)
Alex GOODE (Saracens)
Cheslin KOLBE (Toulouse)
Viliame MATA (Edinburgh Rugby)
Leone NAKARAWA (Racing 92)
Peter O’MAHONY (Munster Rugby)
Garry RINGROSE (Leinster Rugby)
Finn RUSSELL (Racing 92)
Jacob STOCKDALE (Ulster Rugby)
Mako VUNIPOLA (Saracens)
Simon ZEBO (Racing 92)

Rugby World Cup City Guides – Kumamoto:

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Exciting Fijian pair recognised among Europe's best