Catalans Dragons’ Sam Tomkins triumphs in League Express Readers Poll

There was a real French flavour to the League Express Readers’ Poll for the 2021 campaign.

But while maiden Grand Finalists Catalans Dragons and Championship dominators Toulouse Olympique enjoyed multiple wins, St Helens’ success in both the men’s and women’s game was also recognised.

Toulouse, who won every match for the second year running and reached Super League thanks to their Million Pound Game win over Featherstone, got the nod as Club of the Year – ahead of Catalans, with St Helens in third.

Johnathon Ford, their rangy halfback, was Championship Player of the Year, and Sylvain Houles Coach of the Year for the second tier.

Catalans enjoyed the same double in Super League, with England fullback Sam Tomkins and Steve McNamara topping the respective polls as Player and Coach of the Year.

McNamara was also voted the Coach of the Year in 2018, when the Dragons won the Challenge Cup, while Tomkins has done the double, ten years after winning the vote as Player of the Year in 2011. He had also been voted the Young Player of the Year in both 2009 and 2010.

In addition, Australian halfback James Maloney was named both Mature Player of the Year and the Player Who Will Be Most Missed in 2022 (he has joined Lézignan in the French domestic competition). He breaks a three-year winning streak by St Helens captain James Roby as the Mature Player of the Year.

Meanwhile Benjamin Garcia claimed the Club Captain of the Year gong ahead of Roby, while 22-year-old talent Arthur Mourgue won the Best Domestic Newcomer prize and ex-Penrith Panther Dean Whare, the New Zealand international back, the Best Overseas Newcomer award.

After St Helens’ men did the double and their women the treble, Jack Welsby, 20, was named Young Player of the Year, Fiji international ace Kevin Naiqama, now at Sydney Roosters, Overseas Player of the Year and Jodie Cunningham Women’s Player of the Year.

Full results are in this week’s edition of League Express (Mon 3rd Jan 2022).

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