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Steffon Armitage named European Rugby’s Player-of-the-Year

Steffon Armitage has been named ERC European Player-of-the-Year 2014, beating off stiff competition that included fellow James Grant client Chris Ashton and last year's winner, Jonny Wilkinson.

Steffon, who has enjoyed a magnificent season for Toulon, was also named man-of-the-match on Saturday as the French club retained their Heineken Cup title with a 23-6 win over Saracens at the Millennium Stadium.

The dynamic 28-year-old back row was the number one ranked player in the tournament statistics for turnovers won with a total of 19 while also featuring in the top 10 in the carries, tackles and defenders beaten categories.

Steffon was presented with a specially struck gold medal in recognition of the prestigious accolade by ERC Chief Executive, Derek McGrath.

“This is a great honour, and with us winning another Heineken Cup as well, everything has come together at the right time,” Steffon said.

“There are a lot of big names at Toulon, but we’re like one big family and without my teammates this individual award wouldn’t have been possible. Also, to follow in the footsteps of Jonny Wilkinson as a winner is really special.”

WATCH > Video of the ERC European Player of the Year 2014 presentation

Steffon is now included in a list of illustrious players who have won the highest individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby. Wilkinson, who captained Toulon to success at the Millennium Stadium, was last year’s winner and previously, the award went to Rob Kearney (Leinster Rugby 2012), Sean O’Brien (Leinster Rugby 2011) and to Ronan O’Gara (Munster Rugby) who was the inaugural recipient in 2010 as the best player over the first 15 years of ERC’s two tournaments.