The scintillating form of Bath Rugby's Jonathan Joseph has been recognised by EPCR, who have included the outside centre on their longlist for the European Player of the Year 2015 award.
Selected by a distinguished panel of rugby experts including European Cup winner Alan Quinlan and Challenge Cup winner Dimitri Yachvili, the longlist for one of the most prized individual accolades in the world game includes 15 players who have performed outstandingly during the 2014/15 season to date.
Joseph has lit up the field this season, and currently tops Bath Rugby's try-scoring chart for 2014/15. In the Club's famous victory against Toulouse in Round 5 of the Champions Cup, he set up what some experts have referred to as one of the best tries in the history of the tournament with a moment of individual brilliance.
Former Bath fullback Nick Abendanon is also on the longlist thanks to some sterling performances for Clermont Auvergne which have seen him top the statistics for overall metres made in the pool stage (571).
The panel of judges will consider additional players who make major contributions during the knockout stages of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup before announcing a five-man shortlist following the semi-finals with the overall winner named directly after EPCR's finals in London in early May.
In addition to the decision of the judges, the 40 clubs in the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup will have the opportunity to vote for contenders in the eventual shortlist while supporters can also have their say on Twitter using #EPCRPlayer2015, and on the tournament Facebook pages.
EPCR European Player of the Year 2015 longlist
Nick Abendanon (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Steffon Armitage (RC Toulon)
Chris Ashton (Saracens)
Jamie Heaslip (Leinster Rugby)
Juan Imhoff (Racing Metro 92)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Fritz Lee (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Camille Lopez (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Ian Madigan (Leinster Rugby)
George North (Northampton Saints)
Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro 92)
Aurélien Rougerie (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Nicolas Sanchez (RC Toulon)
Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing Metro 92)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Judging Panel: Emmanuel Massicard (Editor, Midi Olympique), Stuart Barnes (Sky Sports/The Sunday Times), Alan Quinlan (Sky Sports/The Irish Times), Mick Cleary (Rugby Correspondent, The Daily Telegraph), Dimitri Yachvili (beIN Sports)
Previous winners: 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