décembre 8, 2021

Each NRL club’s Player of the Year and award winners for 2021

7 min read

It’s awards season and, as we roll through the finals and towards the Dally M and RLPA Players’ Champion awards, individual clubs are handing out their annual gongs.

Below is the rolling list of recipients of each club’s major awards as they are announced.

BRISBANE BRONCOS – PAUL MORGAN MEDAL

Who’s Paul Morgan?: ‘Porky’ Morgan, who died in 2001, represented Queensland as a player and was a former team-mate of Wayne Bennett at Toowoomba. He also played for Redcliffe but is best remembered as the co-founder of the Broncos.

2020 medal winner: Patrick Carrigan & Payne Haas

2021 medal winner: Payne Haas

Cyril Connell Award – Rookie of the Year: Kobe Hetherington

Kevin Walters Award – Most Consistent: Jake Turpin

Allan Langer Award – Best Back: Herbie Farnworth

Shane Webcke Award – Best Forward: Payne Haas

CANBERRA RAIDERS – MAL MENINGA MEDAL

Who’s Mal Meninga?: You may have heard of him: current Kangaroos coach and head of performance at the Titans. Dabbled a little bit in the Origin arena as Queensland’s coach. Pretty handy player as well – so much so that he was named an Immortal in 2018. Really – still not ringing a bell? 

2021 medal winner:  Jordan Rapana

2020 medal winner:  Josh Papalii and Jack Wighton

Fred Daly Club Person of the Year:  Dunamis Lui

Geoff Caldwell Welfare and Education Award:  Elliott Whitehead

NRL Coaches Award:  Tom Starling

NRL Rookies of the Year:  Harley Smith-Shields/Matt Timoko

NSW Cup Player of the Year:  Kai O’Donnell

Gordon McLucas Memorial Junior Representative Player of the Year:  Trey Mooney

Fred Daly Memorial Club Person of the Year:  Grant Hogan

CANTERBURY BULLDOGS – DR GEORGE PEPONIS AWARD

Who is Dr George Peponis?: George Peponis is a Greek-born Bulldogs legend and former captain, having played 132 career games and won the NSWRFL premiership with the club in 1980. On top of this, he captained New South Wales between 1976 and 1980, and represented Australia on eight occasions. Post-football, Peponis was elected as Chairman of the Bulldogs in 2002 following the club’s 2002 salary cap scandal, but has since stepped down from the club’s board to take up the position of New South Wales chairman.

2021 medal winner:  Josh Jackson

2020 medal winner: Kieran Foran

Coaches Award:  Jake Averillo

Steve Mortimer Rookie of the Year:  Bailey Biondi-Odo

Peter Warren Community Service Medal:  Raymond Faitala-Mariner

Les Johns Clubperson of the Year:  Adrian Low

CRONULLA SHARKS – PORTER-GALLEN MEDAL

Who’s Monty Porter?:  Monty Porter was the inaugural captain of the Cronulla Sharks’ NSWRL side. He played 22 games for the club in 1967 before retiring from the game. Prior to his career with Cronulla, Porter played as a forward for Western Suburbs and St. George

2021 medal winner:  Will Kennedy

2020 medal winner: Shaun Johnson

Tommy Bishop Player’s Player:  Will Kennedy

Member’s Player of the Year: Will Kennedy

Steve Rogers Rookie of the Year:  Luke Metcalf

GOLD COAST TITANS – PAUL BROUGHTON MEDAL

Who’s Paul Broughton?:  Paul Broughton is a former chairman of the Gold Coast Titans who was integral in their foundation and inclusion in the NRL. He is also a former rugby league player and coach, perhaps best remembered for coaching Balmain during the 1970s.

2020 medal winner:  Brian Kelly

2021 medal winner: Tino Fa’asuamaleaui

Rookie of the Year:  Jayden Campbell

Members MVP: Tino Fa’asuamaleaui

Coaches’ Award: Corey Thompson

“The Preston”: Jamal Fogarty

MANLY SEA EAGLES – ROY BULL AWARD

Who’s Roy Bull?:  Bull was one of the foundation members of the Sea Eagles, having played 13 years for the club since its inception in 1947. He played 182 games for Manly up until his retirement and was the club’s first international when he toured New Zealand in 1949 as part of his 22 test appearances.

2021 Medal winner: Tom Trbojevic

NRL Players’ Player Award: Tom Trbojevic

NRL Leading Try Scorer Award: Tom Trbojevic

Gordon Willoughby Medallion (Members player): Tom Trbojevic

NRL Leading Point Scorer Award: Reuben Garrick

Ken Arthurson Rising Star Award: Jason Saab, Josh Schuster

Steve Menzies Medal for the Play of the Year: Reuben Garrick

Doug Daley Clubman of the Year Award: Toafofoa Sipley

NRL Club Community Award: Sean Keppie

MELBOURNE STORM – PLAYER OF THE YEAR

2020 medal winner: Cameron Smith

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS – DANNY BUDERUS MEDAL

Who’s Danny Buderus?:  Danny Buderus is widely regarded as one of the greatest Knights players of all time. A New South Wales and Australian representative player, Buderus played hooker in the Knights’ 2001 Grand Final win. He’s also one of only two Knights players to win the Dally Medal, taking home the top honour in 2004. These days, Buderus is the Knights’ General Manager of Football

2021 medal winner: Jacob Saifiti

Players’ Player of the Year: Connor Watson 

Rookie of the Year: Brodie Jones

Old Boys Gladiator of the Year: Jayden Brailey

Community Player of the Year: Josh King

Club Person of the Year: Mathew Morris & Jane Farrell

Knight in Shining Armour: Mitchell Pearce

2020 medal winner: Kalyn Ponga

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS – SIMON MANNERING MEDAL

Who’s Simon Mannering?:  Simon Mannering is the most-capped Warrior of all time, chalking up 301 appearances for the club between 2005 and 2018. Mannering captain the team in their 2011 NRL Grand Final loss and appeared for the New Zealand international team on 45 occasions – the fourth most of any player.

2021 medal winner:  Tohu Harris

2020 medal winner: Tohu Harris

NRL Players’ Player of the Year:  Addin Fonua-Blake

Vodafone NRL Rookie of the Year:  Reece Walsh

Canterbury of NZ Clubman of the Year:  Marcelo Montoya

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS – PAUL BOWMAN MEDAL

Who’s Paul Bowman?:  One of the club’s foundation players, Paul Bowman played his entire NRL career with the Cowboys. He chalked up 203 first grade appearances for the club and played in their 2005 grand final-losing side. In 2018, Bowman was appointed the Head of Sports Science at the Cowboys.

2020 medal winner: Jason Taumalolo

2021 medal winner: Coen Hess

Club Person of the Year: Ben Hampton 

Members Player of the Year: Jake Granville 

Rookie of the Year: Heilum Luki

Players Player of the Year: Murray Taulagi

PARRAMATTA EELS – KEN THORNETT MEDAL

Who’s Ken Thornett?: Thornett was a dual code superstar, making his name for the Eels during the 1960s. The ‘King of Parramatta’ played 136 first-grade games for the club, helping transform the Eels from a struggling team into a competitive side. He was named one of the greatest 100 players in the first 100 years of rugby league and he was recognised with the Western grandstand being named in his honour in the newly built Bankwest Stadium.

2020 medal winner: Clint Gutherson

2021 medal winner: Isaiah Papali’i

Players’ Player Award: Clint Gutherson/Isaiah Papali’i

Jack Gibson NRL Coaches Award: Reagan Campbell-Gillard

Blue and Gold Army Award: Isaiah Papali’i

Rookie of the Year: Haze Dunster

Ray Price Community Award: Ryan Matterson

PENRITH PANTHERS – MERV CARTWRIGHT MEDAL

Who’s Merv Cartwright?: The Cartwright name almost needs no introduction when it comes to Penrith. Merv was a key figure in getting the Panthers first entered into the NSWRL competition in 1997, and was eventually named the club’s first secretary. Merv Cartwright is the father of David, Michael, Cliff and John, who all wore the Panthers jersey, whilst his grandson’s Jed (present) and Bryce (2014-2017) have more recently played for the Panthers.

2020 medal winner: Nathan Cleary

2021 medal winner: Nathan Cleary

Members Player of the Year: Brian To’o

John Farragher Award for Courage and Determination: Dylan Edwards

Ben Alexander Rookie of the Year: Izack Tago

SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS – GEORGE PIGGINS MEDAL

Who’s George Piggins?:  Piggins played 118 games for Souths in the 1960s and 70s and went on to coach the club during the late 1980s. However, he is perhaps best remembered for his role in helping the Rabbitohs to return to the NRL following the Super League War.

2020 medal winner: Cody Walker

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS – PLAYER OF THE YEAR

2020 medal winner: Cameron McInnes

2021 medal winner: Ben Hunt

Red V Members’ Player of the Year: Ben Hunt

Immortals’ Trophy: Andrew McCullough

The Geoff Selby Memorial Trophy for Best Emerging Talent: Talatau Amone

SYDNEY ROOSTERS – JACK GIBSON MEDAL

Who’s Jack Gibson?:  Few names in rugby league are as recognisable as Jack Gibson. Gibson is generally thought to be one of the greatest coaches in Australian rugby league history, guiding the Roosters to two premiership wins and Parramatta to three. In 2008, he was named the coach of the Australian Rugby League’s Team Of The Century.

2020 medal winner: James Tedesco (third time in a row)

2021 medal winner: James Tedesco

Clubman of the Year: Nat Butcher

Rookie of the Year: Sam Walker

Roosters Our Community Award: Nat Butcher

Members Player of the Year: James Tedesco

WESTS TIGERS – KELLY-BARNES AWARD

Who are Noel Kelly and Keith Barnes?: Barnes, AKA Golden Boots, was a Test fullback who starred for Balmain for 194 games before going on to coach the Tigers 46 times. In 2007 he was inducted in the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame. In 2009 he had a stand at Leichhardt Oval named after him.Noel Kelly is also a member of the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame, but comes from the Western Suburbs Magpies.Kelly played 111 times for the Magpies from 1961-69 and coached 85 times from 1966-69 before later moving on to North Sydney. He was chosen at hooker in both the Australian Rugby League and Queensland Team of the Century.

2020 award winner: David Nofoaluma

2021 award winner: Luke Brooks and Daine Laurie

NRL Players’ Player: Adam Doueihi

Rookie of the Year: Stefano Utoikamanu

Wayne Pearce Community Award: Adam Doueihi

NSW Cup Player of the Year: Jock Madden

NSW Cup Players’ Player: Tom Freebairn

Jersey Flegg Player of the Year: Rua Ngatikaura 

Jersey Flegg Players’ Player: Liam Scolari

Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership Player of the Year: Page McGregor

Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership Players’ Player: Emily Curtain



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