Now the quest is underway again to find this season's winner, and a longlist of 15 contenders, based on the pool stage performances of players from the 44 clubs in both the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup competitions, will be announced on Monday, 21 January following nominations from a Judging Panel.
The Judging Panel will also have the option to consider additional players who make outstanding contributions during the quarter-final and semi-final matches for their five-man shortlist following the semi-finals with the overall winner named directly after the ERC European club rugby finals weekend in May 2013.
In addition to the decision of the panel, the 44 clubs in ERC's tournaments will also have the opportunity to vote for contenders on the shortlist while supporters will also have their say on Twitter using #ERCPlayer2013 and on the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup Facebook pages.
The Judging Panel for this season's award is: Stuart Barnes (Sky Sports), Stephen Jones (Sunday Times), Will Greenwood (World Cup winner and two-time Challenge Cup winner), Emmanuel Massicard (Midi Olympique) and Gerry Thornley (Irish Times).
|Morgan Parra||ASM Clermont Auvergne||6||90|
|Leigh Halfpenny||Cardiff Blues||4||63|
|Gareth Steenson||Exeter Chiefs||6||63|
|Alex Cuthbert||Cardiff Blues||6||5|
|Napolini Nalaga||ASM Clermont Auvergne||6||5|
|George Pisi||Northampton Saints||6||4|
|Wesley Fofana||ASM Clermont Auvergne||5||4|
|Juan Imhoff||Racing Metro 92||4||4|
|Freddie Burns||Gloucester Rugby||4||70|
|Nick Robinson||London Wasps||5||57|
|Paul Griffen||Rugby Calvisano||6||57|
|Tom Prydie||Newport Gwent Dragons||5||55|
|Alex Davies||London Welsh||6||52|
|Joe Carlisle||Worcester Warriors||2||50|
|Declan Cusack||Bizkaia Gernika RT||6||50|
|Danny Gray||Worcester Warriors||3||41|
|Francis Fainifo||Stade Francais Paris||6||6|
|Andy Short||Worcester Warriors||6||6|
|Blair Cowan||Worcester Warriors||4||5|
|Josh Drauniniu||Worcester Warriors||2||5|
|Max Stelling||Worcester Warriors||3||5|
|Remy Bonfils||Stade Francais Paris||5||5|
• In 2010, ERC launched the highly acclaimed ERC15 Awards, recognising the efforts of a number of outstanding contributors to the first 15 years of European club rugby competition. Two-time Heineken Cup winner, Ronan O'Gara, was the inaugural recipient of the ERC European Player Award, as the best player over the first 15 years of the two tournaments.
• For the 2010/11 season, ERC moved to present the honour to the best player of the season from the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup, selected by a panel of five experts in conjunction with the 44 clubs from the two competitions with supporters also given the opportunity to vote on the shortlist.
• A shortlist of five players will be announced following the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals (26/27/28 April) and the ERC European Player of the Year 2013 will be selected after the Dublin finals weekend of 17/18 May.