18 May, 15:44
It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.
Commenting on last year's tournament, Sale Sharks' Charlie Hodgson said, "We played eventual champions Munster at Thomond Park in the final group round and that was a whole new experience for many of us. I took a lot from that game and the one a few months later in San Sebastien for the match against Biarritz.
Both matches were unforgettable experiences that have been invaluable to us as a group. Looking back, I think they helped us cope with the pressure of the end to the season and our first Guinness Premiership Final."
Leicester Tigers and England captain Martin Corry added, "Those big Heineken Cup matches play a vital role in developing you as a player. To be staring down the barrel of defeat like we did at home against Stade Francais and come through it, gives you the belief and confidence to win any game. It's a quality we have had at Leicester for many years and one we need to re-discover at England level.
I think that level of intensity helps you develop as a player. I think it helped the Sale guys last season and I think it will do the same for some of the lads at clubs like Gloucester, Northampton Saints and London Irish who are coming back into the competition."