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Vodafone Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is among 23 finalists from the 16 NRL clubs for The Players’ Champion award run by the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA).

The winner will be named at The Players’ Champion dinner in Sydney next Tuesday (September 12).

The Players’ Champion is voted by NRL players.

Tuivasa-Sheck appeared in 23 of the Vodafone Warriors’ 24 matches this year, scoring 10 tries (his second highest tally in his six NRL seasons behind the 12 he scored in 2015).

In the club’s final match of the year against Wests Tigers he made 207 metres from 18 runs, the 13th time he gained 200 metres or more during the season. His total of 4172 metres – an average of 181.4 metres a game – was bettered by only North Queensland’s Jason Taumalolo (4469) and Cronulla’s Paul Gallen (4387). Tuivasa-Sheck’s tally of 445 runs – an average of 19.5 a game – was second best among all players behind Gallen’s 465 runs.

He also featured strongly in a number of other categories:

  • First for kicks defused (82)
  • First for bomb kicks defused (30)
  • First for kick returns (141)
  • Second equal for try saves (4)
  • Fourth for kick return metres (1255)
  • Eighth for tackle breaks (106)
  • And 13th for line breaks (16)

Tuivasa-Sheck is one of only three New Zealanders to make the final list of 23, the others being last year’s Players’ Champion Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland) and Jordan Rapana (Canberra).

Other awards on the night include the first-ever Players’ Team of the Year, Representative Player of the Year, Women’s Player of the Year, The Dennis Tutty Award (Player Advocacy) and Rookie of the Year.

The NRL’s Wellbeing and Education Awards will also be held on the night with winners in academic, indigenous and Pasifika categories set to be acknowledged for their important contribution throughout 2017.

The top 23 finalists for #ThePlayersChampion:

Anthony Milford (Brisbane Broncos)

Jordan Rapana (Canberra Raiders)

Will Hopoate (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)

David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)

Wade Graham (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)

James Maloney (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)

Ash Taylor (Gold Coast Titans)

Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)

Tom Trbojevic (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)

Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm)

Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)

Roger Tuivasa-Scheck (Vodafone Warriors)

Dane Gagai (Newcastle Knights)

Michael Morgan (North Queensland Cowboys)

Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)

Corey Norman (Parramatta Eels)

Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)

Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Cody Walker (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Mitchell Pearce (Sydney Roosters)

James Tedesco (Wests Tigers)

Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers)

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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