Owen Farrell: Saracens fly-half wins European player of the year award

Owen Farrell
Farrell kicked 13 points as Saracens beat French side Clermont at Murrayfield

Owen Farrell was the inaugural winner of the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy - awarded to the European player of the year - after guiding Saracens to a second successive Champions Cup title.

England playmaker Farrell, 25, was given the award after Saracens beat Clermont 28-17 at Murrayfield.

He was chosen by a public vote and a panel of rugby experts.

The trophy was named in the memory of former Munster coach Foley, who died in October at the age of 42.

Foley played a key role in Munster's quest to reach the pinnacle of European club rugby throughout the 2000s, making 86 European Cup appearances for the province, playing in three finals and leading the team to victory in 2006.

His death came a month into a season in which they reached the European Cup semi-finals and finished top of the Pro12.

Tournament organiser European Professional Club Rugby said it had commissioned the trophy with the agreement of the Foley family and Munster Rugby.

Foley's widow Olive and son Tony presented it to Farrell.

"This is a fitting way to honour Anthony's memory," said EPCR chairman Simon Halliday. "He was a great player and a great leader as well as a galvanising force in Munster's European odyssey.

"I would like to thank the Foley family and Munster Rugby for allowing us create this trophy for now and for the future."

The other nominees for the award were Farrell's Saracens team-mate Maro Itoje, Camille Lopez (Clermont), Garry Ringrose (Leinster) and CJ Stander (Munster).

Read how Saracens secured back-to-back European titles

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