Ever-present Vodafone Junior Warriors utility Michael Sio claimed the supreme Vodafone NYC Player of the Year title and the coveted Sonny Fai Medal at the clubs annual NYC awards dinner at the SKYCITY Convention Centre on Wednesday night.
The 20-year-old Marist Saints junior is one of only three players to appear in each of the Vodafone Junior Warriors matches so far during their 2013 campaign.
Hell line up for the 26th time in Friday nights sudden-death semi-final against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium (5.15pm kick-off local time; 7.15pm NZT).
In a poignant moment in front of 300 guests including his team-mates and family, the St Pauls College-educated Sio was presented with the Sonny Fai Medal by veteran Vodafone Warrior Manu Vatuvei.
He has played more minutes almost 1500 than any other forward in the team and is the top tackler with 670 so far, an average of almost 27 a game.
Usually a second rower, Sio has spent virtually the entire season at hooker and was also pressed into service as captain when regular leader David Bhana stepped up to play for the Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup in the last third of the season.
He was one of six players vying for the premier award alongside Bhana, fullback David Fusitua, standoff Tuimoala Lolohea, utility Eko Malu and prop James Taylor. Previous winners of the title have been Kevin Locke (2008), Elijah Taylor (2009), Nafe Seluini (2010), John Palavi (2011) and Peta Hiku (2012).