The three-man shortlist has been confirmed for the 2016 Steve Prescott Man of Steel and it has been revealed that two Hull FC forwards and a Castleford Tigers winger lead the race to lift the most sought-after individual prize in Rugby League.
The award is presented to the individual deemed by his peers to have had the biggest impact in Super League this year and the 2016 winner crowned next month will be one of Gareth Ellis (Hull FC), Danny Houghton (Hull FC) or Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers).
Ellis, the 35-year-old Hull FC captain, has rolled back the years this season and lead his team into the top four of Super League making them strong contenders to lift the League Leaders Shield on Friday and make it to Old Trafford for the Grand Final on October 8th. He’s experienced the game at international level, in Australia and amassed over 200 games in Super League and is now looking to add more silverware to the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup he lifted at Wembley Stadium in August.
Joining Ellis is Hull FC vice-captain Danny Houghton. Currently topping the charts again in 2016 with a super-human 1244 tackles, the Hull-born hooker has been at the heart of the action for his team this year, whether it be getting the opposing team on the back-foot with attacking runs or pulling off try-saving tackles in the 78th minute of the Challenge Cup Final on Warrington’s Ben Currie, his 52nd tackle in that game alone.
Castleford Tigers winger Denny Solomona has enjoyed a record-breaking season in 2016 after crossing the line 37 times to surpass former Bradford Bulls winger Lesley Vainikolo’s 12-year record. In only his second season with the Yorkshire club, the 22-year-old’s pace and finishing skills have gained him the reputation as one of Super League’s most dangerous players.
The Steve Prescott Man of Steel is chosen by a poll of every First Utility Super League player, the results of which will, for the first time ever, be made public after the event hosted at the Point, Lancashire Cricket Club, on Monday, October 3. The evening will also feature a number of other Super League awards, including Coach of the Year and Young Player of the Year.
Nominees for the 2016 First Utility Super League Young Player of the Year are Wigan Warriors forward Ryan Sutton, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats winger Tom Johnstone and Matt Whitley of Widnes Vikings. Players have to be under 21 years of age at the start of the season to be considered for the Young Player of the Year award.