Three Super League players have been shortlisted for the sport’s most coveted individual honour, the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award.
The award is presented to the player who has had the biggest impact on the season and will be selected from a three-man shortlisted featuring two players from Leeds Rhinos, Adam Cuthbertson and Zak Hardaker, and Alex Walmsley from St Helens.
Cuthbertson has had a hugely successful first season in Super League since joining Leeds at the turn of the year from Australian club Newcastle Knights. Playing at prop and loose forward, the 30-year-old has been a key member of the Rhinos pack during a summer which has seen them win the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup and go within one win of lifting the League Leaders’ Shield.
England full-back Hardaker, 24, has enjoyed his most impressive season with Leeds, where he has been one of the most consistent players in the competition, delivering a succession of high quality performances in both attack and defence.
Walmsley has been the cornerstone of the St Helens pack during a year which has seen the defending champions maintain their reputation as Super League’s most dangerous team. The 25-year-old former Batley Bulldogs prop never takes a backwards step and has a workrate that inspires the players around him.
The Steve Prescott Man of Steel is chosen by a poll of every Super League player, the results of which are considered by a specially-convened panel featuring a former Man of Steel, a current player and one representative each from the written and broadcast media.
The Man of Steel has been presented at the end of every season since 1977 and has been renamed in memory of Steve Prescott, one of Rugby League’s most respected players who passed away in 2013 after a long and courageous battle against a rare form of stomach cancer.
The 2015 Steve Prescott Man of Steel will be named at a gala dinner hosted at The Point, the Old Trafford home of Lancashire Cricket Club, on Monday October 5, where a number of other prestigious Super League awards will be presented, including Coach of the Year and Young Player of the Year.
The three nominees for the coveted 2015 First Utility Super League Young Player of the Year are Wigan Warriors duo Joe Burgess and George Williams, and Ben Currie of Warrington Wolves.
Winger Burgess, 20, currently sits in second place in the 2015 scoring charts with 22 tries whilst Williams, 20, has established himself as one of the most dangerous stand-offs in Super League this summer. Warrington second row Currie, 21, has been an outstanding presence in the Wolves’ pack this summer, demonstrating a maturity and industriousness which belie his tender years.
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.