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About The Players’ Champion Awards

In 2004, the Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) introduced awards to recognise the achievements of its membership – both on and off the field.

Taking the official title of The Players’ Champion in 2016, awards are presented annually in a range of categories.

The prestigious The Players’ Champion honour is the mantle awarded to the most outstanding player each year as voted by the players. Who will be next Players Champion?

The Players’ Champion

The Players’ Champion from the NRL

Shaun Johnson

2023 The Players’ Champion

James Tedesco

2022 The Players’ Champion

Tom Trbojevic

2021 The Players’ Champion

Nathan Cleary

2020 The Players’ Champion

James Tedesco

2019 The Players’ Champion

Kalyn Ponga

2018 The Players’ Champion

James Tedesco

2017 The Players’ Champion

Jason Taumalolo

2016 The Players’ Champion

Johnathan Thurston

2015 The Players’ Champion

Johnathan Thurston

2014 The Players’ Champion

Johnathan Thurston

2013 The Players’ Champion

Ben Barba

2012 The Players’ Champion

Akuila Uate

2011 The Players’ Champion

Darius Boyd

2010 The Players’ Champion

Jarryd Hayne

2009 The Players’ Champion

Braith Anasta

2008 The Players’ Champion

Petero Civoniceva

2008 The Players’ Champion

Matt Bowen

2007 The Players’ Champion

Ben Kennedy

2006 The Players’ Champion

Johnathan Thurston

2005 The Players’ Champion

Danny Buderus

2004 The Players’ Champion
NRLW Dream Team 2023

The Players’ Champion from the NRLW

Teagan Berry

2023 The Players’ Champion

Raecene McGregor

2022 The Players’ Champion

Emma Tonegato

2021 The Players’ Champion

Hannah Southwell

2020 The Players’ Champion

Jessica Sergis

2019 The Players’ Champion

Simaima Taufa

2018 The Players’ Champion

More Players’ Award

The Player’s Dream Team

Dennis Tutty Award

The Player’s Rookie of the Year

The Player’s Player of the Month

The 300 Club

Academic Player of The Year

FAQs – The Players’ Awards awards

What are The Players’ Awards (NRL & NRLW)?

The Players’ Awards are the Rugby League Players’ Associations awards and are voted for by NRL and NRLW players.

The Players’ Awards consist of:

(a) The Players’ Champion (NRL & NRLW)

(b) The Players’ Rookie of the Year (NRL & NRLW)

(c) The Players’ Dream Team (NRL & NRLW)

(d) The Dennis Tutty Award (NRL & NRLW)

Who is eligible to vote in The Players’ Awards (NRL & NRLW)?
All contracted NRL and NRLW players are eligible to vote in The Players’ Awards.
How does the voting process work?

An online survey is distributed to all contracted NRL and NRLW players.

For the individual The Players’ Champion award, players are asked to nominate in a 3/2/1 point system (3 being allocated to the player they believe has performed the best) their choice for the best performers in that season from the Contenders List (opposition players only).

Players also enter one vote for the Players’ Rookie of the Year, and a one (1) vote for each of the nine (9) positions to make up The Players’ Dream Team (13 players will make the final list).

This revised voting process was implemented in 2022.

What is the Contenders List?

To streamline the voting process, four players from each club are nominated as Contenders to be eligible for The Players’ Champion. This process takes place prior to the voting period, with RLPA Delegates and Player Leaders at each Club asked to put forward the three best players from their own team. An RLPA Working Group nominates a fourth player to round out the nomination process. In total, 64 players (four from each team) are eligible to receive votes in the end of season poll.

What happens in the event of a tie?
Where players finish on the same amount of points through the voting system, the player who received the most three (3) point nominations will be awarded the honour. Should both players finish on the same amount of three (3) point nominations, joint winners will be announced.
Are players penalised for suspensions/fines handed down by the NRL?
No. Players receive no penalty for suspension or fines.
How does the process for The Players’ Awards (NRLW) work?

The Players’ Dream Team (NRL and NRLW) are awarded each season to the 13 best players voted by position, and players are eligible for selection in a position they primarily played for the relevant season.

This means a player cannot be eligible for selection in more than one position.

Each player will be able to nominate a maximum of one (1) player per position, out of the list of eligible players. Players can only vote for opposition players.

This revised voting process was revised and implemented for the 2021 NRLW season and 2022 NRL season.

How are the Dennis Tutty Awards decided?

The RLPA Board of Directors determine the winner of the Dennis Tutty award each year based on the following criteria.

The Dennis Tutty Award will be awarded annually to a current Rugby League Player who has demonstrated outstanding:

  1. Leadership on and off the field;
  2. Commitment to his fellow Players and to the advancement and protection of their rights; and
  3. Service and dedication to the game of Rugby League

RLPA staff are eligible to nominate a player for the Dennis Tutty Award and may do so by written application to the RLPA Board addressing the criteria above, with the final determination made by the RLPA Board.

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