Eben Etzebeth has earned a place on the EPCR Player of the Year 2023 longlist after a stellar Champions Cup pool stage campaign for debutants Sharks.
The World Cup-winning South African joined the Durban-based side last summer and was a mainstay of their team as they finished third in Pool A in their maiden EPCR season.
Etzebeth was a colossal figure in the pack as the Sharks marched to three wins from four, and capped a quartet of committed performances with a smartly-taken try at Harlequins in Round 4.
“I’ll have that”
Eben Etzebeth showing his rugby knowledge with this sharp play at the weekend
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) January 23, 2023
Prior to his move back to his homeland, Etzebeth was at Toulon, but he only turned out once in the Champions Cup for the TOP 14 heavyweights, with the rest of his EPCR appearances coming in the Challenge Cup.
However, the 31-year-old has looked at home in EPCR’s elite competition and will continue to be an integral part of the Sharks team as they look to overcome Munster in a blockbuster Round of 16 contest at Kings Park on April 1.
Eben Etzebeth is on the cover of our new issue!
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) February 17, 2023
2023 EPCR Player of the Year award nominees:
Gavin COOMBES (Munster)
Caelan DORIS (Leinster)
Elliot DALY (Saracens)
Antoine DUPONT Toulouse)
Eben ETZEBETH (Sharks)
Jaden HENDRIKSE (Sharks)
Siya KOLISI (Sharks)
Makazole MAPIMPI (Sharks)
Julien MARCHAND (Toulouse)
Emmanuel MEAFOU (Toulouse)
Jamie OSBORNE (Leinster)
Garry RINGROSE (Leinster)
Justin TIPURIC (Ospreys)
Josh VAN DER FLIER (Leinster)
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images