(Reuters) – Fullback Alex Goode is among the nominees for the European Player of the Year award and is one of only two English players on the 15-man list released by European Professional Club Rugby on Thursday.
His Saracens team mate Mako Vunipola was also on the shortlist.
Saracens won all six of their pool matches in the European Champions Cup this season to reach the quarter-finals with a 100 percent record, but Goode’s performances at club level were not enough to earn him a call-up to Eddie Jones’ Six Nations squad.
Last year’s winner, Leone Nakarawa, who was instrumental in Racing 92’s progress to the Champions Cup quarter-finals, has been nominated once again alongside his team mates Finn Russell and Simon Zebo.
Ireland is the best-represented nation on the list, with Leinster trio Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong and Garry Ringrose, being joined by Munster’s Tadhg Beirne, Joey Carbery and Peter O’Mahony and Ulster winger Jacob Stockdale.
The list will be trimmed to five players in April following the Champions Cup semi-finals.
Full list of 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).
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)