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The NRL have announced the list of finalists in the running for the prestigious Ken Stephen Medal, presented for outstanding work in the community. Among the nominees is the Vodafone Warriors’ gentle giant Manu Vatuvei.


Manu, a father of three and husband to Jen, always manages to find time to work tirelessly in the community. His work with Kidz First Children’s hospital as an ambassador, and his infectious laughter can often be heard echoing through the wards as he visits with the children there.

His help with the 'Jammies in June' programme this year; which reaped 5,311 pairs of flannelette pyjamas for children admitted to hospital was a huge success. He took his warmth further when he also promoted the Warmer Homes insulation programme. This found Manu encouraging families to take up the government subsidy and get their homes insulated to help make them warmer and drier, meaning less illness and trips to the doctor.

The 10-season-veteran has also got behind Blue September, which is the Prostate Cancer Foundation's national awareness campaign which encourages men to visit their doctor for a check-up.

His humility off the field has seen many fans scrambling to get a photo with 'The Beast' as he is affectionately known as. His professionalism also sees him leaving smiles on those he engages with.

The NRL Head of Community, Adam Check, said “We know clubs already dedicate a significant amount of time to the community, but the nominees for the Ken Stephen Medal go above and beyond the call of duty - they are role models of the game,”.

You can make a difference by voting for Manu at: Voting is live to the public from today until midnight on Wednesday, 10 September.

The Ken Stephen Medal is named after the NSWRL administrator who dedicated 28 years of service to the game

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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