Joe Burgess has been awarded the League Express Albert Goldthorpe Rookie of the Year Medal.
The Wigan winger, who has just turned 20, made his debut for the Warriors as an 18-year-old in August 2013 against Hull KR, adding one more appearance last season before enjoying a meteoric rise to prominence in 2014, scoring 17 tries in 20 Super League appearances in the regular season and adding three tries in the play-offs.
He also scored four tries in three Challenge Cup appearances, and touched down in Wigan’s 14-36 World Club Challenge defeat against Sydney Roosters in February.
In the regular season he made 27 clean breaks – more than any other player in Super League – and made an average of 10.64 metres every time he carried the ball, coming second only to Castleford’s Daryl Clark among recognised first-team players.
Such was his form that he was selected in the England squad that competed in the Four Nations in New Zealand and Australia.
“Joe Burgess has been one of the most exciting young players to burst onto the Super League scene for many years, and he has enjoyed an outstanding season for Wigan,” he said.
“Although he didn’t break into the England team, it can only be a matter of time before he does so, and he is one of the reasons why we can be optimistic about the future of the international side.
“He is following in the footsteps of some great players who have won the rookie award before forging great careers, including his former Wigan team-mate Sam Tomkins.
“I have every confidence that Joe will be a major star for many years.”
The award was presented at the annual dinner of the Rugby League Writers and Broadcasters Association in Warrington, although Burgess, who is returning from New Zealand, was unable to be present to collect the award personally.
Martyn Sadler also presented the Albert Goldthorpe Medal to Huddersfield Giants star Danny Brough – the third time Brough has won the award since its inauguration in 2008.
And the editor of League Express also presented Wigan with their Albert Goldthorpe Team of the Year award for having accumulated more points than any other club in the Albert Goldthorpe Medal table.
Albert Goldthorpe Rookie of the Year Medal
2008 Luke Burgess (Leeds Rhinos)
2009 Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors)
2010 Liam Watts (Hull Kingston Rovers)
2011 Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants)
2012 John Bateman (Bradford Bulls)
2013 Tom Lineham (Hull FC)