07 Mar 17
The nominees for EPCR European Player of the Year - presented by Turkish Airlines - will be announced over the course of the next fortnight.
Saracens second row, Maro Itoje, was named as the EPCR European Player of the Year 2016 presented by Turkish Airlines following his side's Champions Cup victory at the Grand Stade de Lyon.
Selected by a distinguished panel of rugby experts whose votes were combined with those of fans from across Europe on Facebook, the most prized individual accolade in European club rugby went to the 21-year-old who was also chosen as the Heineken Man of the Match.
Itoje was presented with his award, a specially struck gold medal, by EPCR Chairman, Simon Halliday, and Turkish Airlines Board Member, Ogun Sanlier. He also received one million air miles courtesy of Turkish Airlines.
A monumental figure in Saracens' 21-9 triumph over Racing 92, Itoje follows in the footsteps of three England internationals who have picked up the award in recent years - Jonny Wilkinson, Steffon Armitage and Nick Abendanon.
EPCR EUROPEAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2016 LIST
(presented by Turkish Airlines)
Steffon Armitage (RC Toulon)
Dan Carter (Racing 92)
Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Vereniki 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)
Emmanuel Massicard (Editor, Midi Olympique), Stuart Barnes (Sky Sports/The Sunday Times), Mick Cleary (Rugby Correspondent, The Daily Telegraph), Matthieu Lartot (France Televisions), Dimitri Yachvili (beIN Sports)
Ronan O'Gara (Munster Rugby - best player of first 15 years of European club rugby tournaments); Sean O'Brien (Leinster Rugby) 2011; Rob Kearney (Leinster Rugby) 2012; Jonny Wilkinson (RC Toulon) 2013; Steffon Armitage (RC Toulon) 2014; Nick Abendanon (ASM Clermont Auvergne) 2015