Vodafone Warriors veteran Manu Vatuvei is one of 15 NRL players lining up for the game’s 2014 Favourite Son Award.
Vodafone Warriors members and fans can vote for Vatuvei now after online voting opened today for the annual award which kicks off almost a month of celebrations for the 2014 Harvey Norman Women in League Round.
The 28-year-old Vatuvei, one of rugby league’s most prolific try scorers, is now in his 11th season in the NRL. He has scored five tries in seven appearances so far this season, boosting his career tally to an outstanding 123 tries in 178 games.
He may be 'The Beast' on the field - just ask Dragons fullback Josh Dugan what he thinks after trying to stop him two weeks ago - but off the field he's ever-smiling, always happy and always helping out.
The doting father of three daughters, Vatuvei puts himself about in the community both officially representing the club and off his own bat.
Even when times might be tough on the field for the club, he is always a positive influence who sets out to lift everyone around him.
He's the face for one of the Vodafone Warriors’ major charity partners Kidz First Children's Hospital and is also keenly involved in fronting related campaigns such as Jammies in June and Warmer Homes (which raise awareness of respiratory illness and how important it is for children to have warm pyjamas in winter).
Vatuvei joins some of the NRL’s most respected stars who have been nominated for the ‘Favourite Son’ award to be announced on Wednesday, May 14, at the Women in League Sydney Lunch, the official start to the Harvey Norman Women in League initiative, to be celebrated during Round 10 of the Telstra Premiership (May 16-19).
The Favourite Son award acknowledges an NRL player whose attitude and character has an outstanding influence on the game. The recipient is a player whose integrity and reputation makes the game more appealing to women, someone who encourages mothers to involve their families in rugby league. The nominees are:
Broncos | Corey Parker
Bulldogs| Sam Perrett
Cowboys | Brent Tate
Dragons | Brett Morris
Eels | Ben Smith
Knights | Jarrod Mullen
Panthers | Kevin Kingston
Rabbitohs | Opted not to nominate a player
Raiders | Brett White
Roosters | Mitchell Pearce
Sea Eagles | Matt Ballin
Sharks | Michael Gordon
Storm | Ryan Hoffman
Titans | Ashley Harrison
Vodafone Warriors | Manu Vatuvei
Wests Tigers | Aaron Woods
Online voting for the Harvey Norman Favourite Son Award started today (Friday, May 2) at http://www.nrl.com/favouriteson and closes at 11.59pm on May 11.
The eighth annual celebration of the Harvey Norman Women in League initiative celebrates, acknowledges and supports the role women play in the Rugby League family, which includes over 60,000 female volunteers, officials, players, employees and administrators at the heart of the game.
This year, the NRL will host four official Harvey Norman Women in League events beginning in Western Sydney on Monday (May 5), followed by Wollongong (May 7), Hunter Valley (May 9) and Sunshine Coast (May 20).
“Congratulations to all the Harvey Norman Favourite Son nominees whose integrity and leadership make us proud of the men they are off the field as much what they do on the field,” said Mark Deweerd, NRL Interim General Manager, Community, Culture and Diversity.
“Their efforts and attitude inspire women to be part of the Rugby League family at all levels.”
The Harvey Norman Favourite Son Award was established in 2009 and past winners include:
2009 - Hazem El Masri (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
2010 - Nathan Hindmarsh (Parramatta Eels)
2011 - Petero Civoniceva (Penrith Panthers)
2012 - Luke Burt (Parramatta Eels)
2013 - Anthony Minichiello (Sydney Roosters)
For more information on upcoming events and Harvey Norman Women in League please visit www.rloc.com.au