Leinster: Johnny Sexton, Tadhg Furlong & Scott Fardy up for European player award

Scott Fardy and Johnny Sexton both played pivotal roles in Leinster's 38-16 Champions Cup semi-final win over the Scarlets
Scott Fardy and Johnny Sexton both played key roles in Leinster's 38-16 Champions Cup semi-final win over the Scarlets

Leinster fly-half Johnny Sexton and forwards Tadhg Furlong and Scott Fardy are among five contenders for the EPCR European Player of the Year 2018 award.

The trio are joined on the shortlist by Racing 92 scrum-half Maxime Machenaud and second row Leone Nakarawa.

The Irish province and the French club will contest the Champions Cup final in Bilbao, Spain on 12 May.

The winner will be announced after the European decider and will receive the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy.

An original list of 15 nominees was trimmed down to five based on the combined verdict of a distinguished panel of rugby experts and a public vote.

Australia second row Fardy was named man of the match in Leinster's semi-final win over the Scarlets at the Aviva Stadium.

Sexton's personal haul of 18 points in Saturday's game in Dublin took him to 605 European Cup career points and sixth place on the all-time list.

The award was won by Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell last year, while previous Irish winners of the prize include Rob Kearney in 2012, Sean O'Brien in 2011 and Ronan O'Gara in 2010.