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Just-retired Vodafone Warrior Ben Henry and Kiwi Ferns star Georgia Hale, who works for the club as a NRL community ambassador, were both honoured at the RLPA Players' Champion awards in Sydney on Tuesday night.

Henry, forced into early retirement this season, was named a co-winner of the Academic Pacifica Player of the Year Award with fellow New Zealander and Cronulla forward Sam Tagataese.

And Hale, outstanding for the victorious Kiwi Ferns in the Downer NRL Auckland Nines and this year's Anzac Test, was named the New Zealand Representative Women's Player of the Year. Hale was present at the event with the entire Kiwi Ferns team to receive her award from former Kiwi captain Quentin Pongia.

Henry, who was at the Vodafone Warriors' awards in Auckland at the same time, thanked the RLPA for his award via a video message.

Kiwi and North Queensland Cowboys forward Jason Taumalolo was crowned the RLPA Players’ Champion for 2016, as voted by his NRL peers. 

Off the back of a 2015 premiership-winning season with North Queensland, Taumalolo accepted his award from Townsville where the Cowboys are preparing for Friday night’s semi-final. 

Melbourne's Jesse Bromwich was named the New Zealand Representative Player of the Year while former Kiwi Dene Halatau (Wests Tigers) won the Dennis Tutty Award.


The Players’ Champion | Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)

Rookie of the Year | Cody Walker (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Dennis Tutty Award | Dene Halatau (Wests Tigers)

Australian Representative Player | Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

New Zealand Representative Player | Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm)

Rest of the World Representative Player | James Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs)

Australian Representative Women’s Player of the Year | Samantha Bremner (Australian Jillaroos)

New Zealand Representative Women’s Player of the Year | Georgie Hale (New Zealand Kiwi Ferns)

NYC Player of the Year | Nat Butcher (Sydney Roosters)

Origin Greats | Matt Sing, Gary Belcher and Benny Elias

Academic Indigenous Player of the Year | Dane Gagai (Newcastle Knights)

Academic Pacifica Player of the Year | Sam Tagataese (Cronulla Sharks) and Ben Henry (New Zealand Warriors)

NRL and NYC Academic Team of the Year | Josh Jackson (Canterbury Bulldogs) and Jacob Liddle (Wests Tigers NYC)

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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