Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco was crowned The Players’ Champion for 2017 at the annual Rugby League Players’ Association awards in Sydney on Tuesday night.
He was given the honour by his NRL peers ahead of the group of finalists which included Vodafone Warriors fullback and captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and North Queensland’s Jason Taumalolo.
Taumalolo and Canberra winger were the only New Zealanders named in the Dream Team.
Among those honoured was Vodafone Warriors second rower Ryan Hoffman for joining the NRL's 300-game club.
Another award winner was Vodafone Junior Warriors utility Eiden Ackland, who was named in the RLPA’s NYC Academic Team of the Year. Ackland is in his second year of a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts conjoint degree at the University of Auckland.
The Players’ Champion – James Tedesco (Wests Tigers).
The Players’ 13 Dream Team – James Tedesco (Wests Tigers); Jordan Rapana (Canberra Raiders), Konrad Hurrell (Gold Coast Titans), Dane Gagai (Newcastle Knights), David Nofoaluma (Wests Tigers); Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons), Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers); Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers), Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm), David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown); Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland), Wade Graham (Cronulla-Sutherland); Sam Burgess (South Sydney).
Harvey Norman Rookie of the Year – Nick Cotric (Canberra Raiders).
Harvey Norman Dennis Tutty Award – James Maloney (Cronulla Sharks).
One Solutions Australian Representative Player – Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm/Australia/Queensland).
Phone A Flight New Zealand Representative Player – Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland).
One Solutions Rest of the World Representative Player – Josh Hodgson (England).
Harvey Norman Australian Representative Women’s Player of the Year – Simaima Taufa (Australian Jillaroos).
Phone A Flight New Zealand Representative Women’s Player of the Year – Sarina Fiso (New Zealand Kiwi Ferns).
Harvey Norman NYC Player of the Year – Harry Grant (Melbourne Storm).
Origin Greats Inductee – Brett Morris.
The ‘300 Club’ – Cooper Cronk, Chris Heighington, Luke Lewis, Paul Gallen, Ryan Hoffman.
Shadforth Financial Group RLPA/NRL Wellbeing and Education Awards:
Indigenous Leadership & Excellence – Ryan James (Gold Coast Titans).
Pasifika Leadership & Excellence – Adam Blair (Brisbane Broncos).
NRL Academic Player of the Year – Tim Mannah (Parramatta Eels).
NYC Academic Player of the Year – Billy Magoulias (Cronulla Sharks).
NRL Academic Team of the Year – Tom Tom Opacic (Brisbane), Chad Townsend (Sharks), Damien Cook (Rabbitohs), Jacob Host (Dragons), John Asiata (Cowboys), Christian Welch (Storm), Anthony Don (Titans), Tim Mannah (Eels), Jamie Buhrer (Knights), Ava Seumanufagai (Wests Tigers), Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), Luke Keary (Roosters), Michael Lichaa (Bulldogs).
NYC Academic Team of the Year – Billy Magoulias (Sharks), Blake Manowski (Rabbitohs), Dane Aukafolau (Eels), Eiden Ackland (Vodafone Warriors), Harry Grant (Storm), Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu (Roosters), Joseph Tramontana (Bulldogs), Liam Martin (Panthers), Mitchell Dunn (Cowboys), Patrick Carringan (Broncos), Royce Tout (Wests Tigers), Stuart Mason (Dragons), Tyrone Roberts-Davis (Titans).