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Posted by RLPA

October 02, 2022

McGregor and Tedesco the Players’ Champions

The Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) is pleased to announce Raecene McGregor and James Tedesco have been voted by their peers as The Players’ Champion winners for 2022.

The players have chosen Tedesco as their Champion for the third time, following his wins in 2017 and 2019. Tedesco is now just one Players’ Champion award short of champion playmaker Johnathan Thurston, who won four times in 2005, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The fullback secured The Players’ Champion ahead of fellow finalists Ben Hunt, Nicho Hynes, Joseph Manu and Cameron Munster. It caps off another incredible year for Tedesco on the field, where he led the competition in tackle breaks (169), was second in run metres (5,092), scored 13 tries, set up 12 tries and made 17 line breaks (the most of any fullback).

It is the first Players’ Champion award for McGregor, who was voted The Players’ Champion ahead of fellow NRLW finalists Sam Bremner, Isabelle Kelly, Keilee Joseph and Simaima Taufa. McGregor once again proved she is one of the most valuable and creative halves in the NRLW. In the 2022 season she notched 10 try assists and five line break assists in her five games for the Roosters.

This is the second Players’ Awards recognition for McGregor and Tedesco after both were selected in their positions for the Players’ Dream Team from the NRLW and NRL competitions. 

James Tedesco was voted his NRL peers as their Players’ Champion for 2022

Clint Newton, Chief Executive Officer of the RLPA, congratulated McGregor and Tedesco:

“On behalf of the RLPA, I would like to congratulate Raecene and James on this incredible recognition from their fellow players. To be named by your peers as The Players’ Champion and the best player in your competition for that season is a remarkable and humbling honour.”

“James has been one of the most outstanding players in the NRL for a number of years now, excelling at every level of the game from club, to Origin and to the international game. The fact that he has now won three Players’ Champion awards and is only one short of Thurston’s record of four is a testament to the quality of player and person that he is.

“Raecene is still a young player, yet she plays with the craft and intelligence of a veteran. She has played in every season of the NRLW and has won three Premierships with the Brisbane Broncos and Roosters. This year, though, Raecene has proved why she is recognised as one of the best players in the game by producing a season to remember for her personally.”

“I would also like to thank Channel Nine for partnering with the RLPA for the 2022 Players’ Awards, and their inclusion into the Grand Final broadcast coverage. Their support is crucial in elevating the award and ensuring the players’ achievements are celebrated as they deserve.”

NRLW players have voted for Raecene McGregor as their 2022 Players’ Champion

Lina Caccamo, the RLPA’s GM of Elite Women and International Relations, praised McGregor for receiving the honour of The Players’ Champion from the NRLW competition:

“Voting wouldn’t have been an easy exercise for the players considering the calibre of competition this season. The Players’ Awards ethos is respect meeting rivalry, and the players in the NRLW competition have a huge amount of respect for each other. 

“The players recognise the dedication and the sacrifices every player makes to give back to rugby league and play in the NRLW competition. Raecene certainly epitomises everything that The Players’ Champion award is about on and off the field. 

“It is a huge honour to be voted by your fellow players as their Players’ Champion, and the RLPA congratulates Raecene on this ultimate recognition by her peers.”

Most Players’ Champion awards:

  • 4 – Johnathan Thurston
  • 3 – James Tedesco

The Players’ Champion from the NRL

  • 2022 James Tedesco (3)
  • 2021 Tom Trbojevic
  • 2020 Nathan Cleary
  • 2019 James Tedesco (2)
  • 2018 Kalyn Ponga
  • 2017 James Tedesco (1)
  • 2016 Jason Taumalolo
  • 2015 Johnathan Thurston (4)
  • 2014 Johnathan Thurston (3)
  • 2013 Johnathan Thurston (2)
  • 2012 Ben Barba
  • 2011 Akuila Uate
  • 2010 Darius Boyd
  • 2009 Jarryd Hayne
  • 2008 Braith Anasta & Petero Civoniceva
  • 2007 Matt Bowen
  • 2006 Ben Kennedy
  • 2005 Johnathan Thurston (1)
  • 2004 Danny Buderus

The Players’ Champion from the NRLW

  • 2022 Raecene McGregor
  • 2021 Emma Tonegato
  • 2020 Hannah Southwell
  • 2019 Jessica Sergis

Full list of The Players’ Awards winners for 2022

The Players’ Champion: Raecene McGregor and James Tedesco.

The Players’ Rookie of the Year: Gayle Broughton and Jeremiah Nanai.

Dennis Tutty Award: Wade Graham and Hannah Southwell.

The Players’ Dream Team from the NRL: James Tedesco, Joseph Sua’ali’i, Joseph Manu, Justin Olam, Daniel Tupou, Cameron Munster, Ben Hunt, James Fisher-Harris, Api Koroisau, Joseph Tapine, Jeremiah Nanai, Isaiah Papali’i, Cameron Murray.

The Players’ Dream Team from the NRLW: Sam Bremner, Julia Robinson, Isabelle Kelly, Jaime Chapman, Leianne Tufuga, Tarryn Aiken, Raecene McGregor, Millie Boyle, Destiny Brill, Caitlan Johnston, Olivia Kernick, Amber Hall, Keilee Joseph.

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