Posted by RLPA
Broughton and Nanai voted players’ best rookies
The Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) is pleased to announce the Players’ Awards two Rookie of the Year winners are Gayle Broughton and Jeremiah Nanai – as voted by NRLW and NRL players.
Parramatta Eels fullback Gayle Broughton beat out a tough field of rookies in the NRLW, edging ahead of fellow Finalists Tara McGrath-West (Dragons), Jesse Southwell (Knights) Otesa Pule (Roosters) and Pani Hopoate (Roosters).
North Queensland Cowboys second-rower Jeremiah Nanai was voted by the players as their best rookie among an impressive group of NRL Finalists: Jacob Kiraz (Bulldogs), Ezra Mam (Broncos), Taylan May (Panthers) and Xavier Savage (Raiders).
Lina Caccamo, the RLPA’s GM of Elite Women and International Relations, congratulated Gayle Broughton:
“Gayle’s rugby sevens ability and talent as an Olympic gold medallist is unquestionable. Yet what she has done in a short time transitioning to rugby league is incredible.
“Her performances on the field during the 2022 NRLW season are impressive and she has brought so much dynamism to the competition. To add to that, she is a great person and wonderful leader who is highly valued and respected by her teammates and the RLPA.
“To be named as Rookie of the Year by your peers is an extraordinary acknowledgement for Gayle as a person and player. The RLPA would like to congratulate Gayle on her recognition by the players as their Rookie of the Year.”
Chad Townsend, North Queensland Cowboys co-captain and RLPA Player Advisory Group member, praised Jeremiah Nanai’s work ethic as a young rookie:
“Jeremiah has had an outstanding season. Even at such a young age, he has a very mature head on his shoulders. The success he has had this season does not surprise me because I have seen the work he has put in behind the scenes. What everyone has seen on the field is a result of all that hard work.
”Jeremiah is only at the start of his career but the sky’s the limit for what he can achieve in this game if he continues to train and play the way he did during his first full season.”
Clint Newton, CEO of the RLPA, congratulated both Gayle Broughton and Jeremiah Nanai for their rookie award nods from their peers:
“The RLPA would like to congratulate Gayle and Jeremiah for being honoured as the Players’ Rookie of the Year winners. The players had an outstanding group of players to choose from with the amount of quality rookies coming through the ranks of both competitions, but both Gayle and Jeremiah thoroughly deserve this acknowledgement of appreciation from the players.
“I have no doubt we will see both Gayle and Jeremiah have great futures in rugby league as they continue to develop and grow beyond their rookie seasons.”
About The Rookie of the Year voting:
- Voting is open to all contracted NRL & NRLW players, with each player selecting one (1) opposition player from their competition.
- Players are not penalised for any suspensions and/or fines received during the course of the season.
- Players cannot vote for their teammates
- The player with the most number of votes is awarded The Rookie of the Year.
Previous winners of The Rookie of the Year:
- 2021 Destiny Brill & Reece Walsh
- 2020 Harry Grant
- 2019 Payne Haas
- 2018 Victor Radley
- 2017 Nick Cotric
- 2016 Cody Walker
- 2015 Cameron Munster
- 2014 Luke Brooks
- 2013 George Burgess
- 2012 Josh Mansour & Adam Reynolds
- 2011 Daly Cherry-Evans
- 2010 Trent Hodkinson
- 2009 Josh Dugan
- 2008 David Williams
- 2007 Michael Jennings
- 2006 Darius Boyd
- 2005 Ben Smith
- 2004 Sonny-Bill Williams
The Players’ Awards schedule in partnership with Channel 9:
- September 28: The Players’ Dream Team (NRLW)
- October 2: The Players’ Champion (NRL & NRLW)