RaboDirect PRO12 players dominated the shortlist for the Six Nations player of the tournament, attracting seven of the 12 nominations.
In contrast not one player playing in the English Premiership received a nomination, decided by the host broadcaster’s designated man of the match.
Edinburgh and Cardiff Blues, who have both progressed to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals, lead the way with two of their players making the shortlists.
For Michael Bradley, the back-row duo of David Denton and Ross Rennie make the cut for their performances against England and France respectively.
The pair had only made two international starts between them before the start of the tournament but such has been their form in the RaboDirect PRO12 that they forced Andy Robinson’s hand, who has duly been rewarded with some blockbusting performances.
Another player who has used the RaboDirect PRO12 as a stepping stone to international rugby has been giant Blues wing Alex Cuthbert after making his full Wales debut against Ireland. The Blues’ other nominee, Sam Warburton, is a far more familiar face having established himself as one of the world’s foremost practitioners of back-row play.
Also making the shortlist were Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton and second-row Donnacha Ryan, who has been in brilliant form for RaboDirect PRO12 champions Munster.
The final RaboDirect PRO12 Newport Gwent Dragons flanker Dan Lydiate for his performance against Scotland with the remaining shortlist made up of players – including Wales’ Michael Phillips and Italy’s Sergio Parisse – who ply their trade in France’s Top 14.
The winner will be chosen by a public vote and announced on March 21. To cast a vote for your favourite RaboDirect PRO12 star go to http://www.rbs6nations.com/en/player_of_rbs_6_nations.php