Recently-named Vodafone Warriors NRL rookie of the year Chanel Harris-Tavita collected another honour when he was named in the NRL-RLPA academic team of the year at the Players' Champion awards in Sydney on Monday night.
Harris-Tavita, who made 13 NRL appearances this year, is completing a Bachelor of Business at AUT (Auckland University of Technology).
On the night he was recognised Vodafone Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Warriors players Georgia Hale and Charntay Poko were among the five finalists for the Players' Champion NRL and NRLW accolades.
Sydney Roosters fullback James Tedesco was crowned by his NRL peers while St George Illawarra centre Jessica Sergis won the NRLW Players' Champion award.
Having previously received the honour in 2017, Tedesco is just the second player to have won the prestigious award more than once – with retired superstar Johnathan Thurston the only other player to have achieved the feat.
The 26-year-old finished ahead of finalists Cameron Munster, Payne Haas, Cameron Smith and Tuivasa-Sheck in the end of season player poll, capping off an incredible year for the superstar fullback.
Tedesco accepted the honour just over a week after his side’s Telstra Premiership victory and has won a host of other awards including the Dally M Medal, the Brad Fittler Medal and the Wally Lewis Medal.
St George Illawarra star Jess Sergis received the inaugural NRLW Players’ Champion award after a stellar season.
Sergis edged out teammate Botille Vette-Welsh, Broncos enforcer Rona Peters, and Warriors duo Hale and Poko in becoming the first winner of the player-voted award.
The Dennis Tutty Award, which recognises a player who has acted in a selfless way throughout the year in advancing the interests of their fellow players, was awarded to Parramatta Eels forward David Gower.
Broncos prop forward Payne Haas, who finished as a finalist for the NRL Players’ Champion, was awarded the Rookie of the Year for 2019.
The NRL-RLPA Wellbeing and Education Awards once again featured prominently, with several players headlined by Russell Packer (male academic player of the year) and Vanessa Foliaki (female academic player of the year) receiving recognition for their excellence off-field.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
NRL Players’ Champion: James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)
NRLW Players’ Champion: Jessica Sergis (St George Illawarra Dragons)
The Dennis Tutty Award: David Gower (Parramatta Eels)
Rookie of the Year: Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos)
The Players’ 13 Dream Team: 1 James Tedesco; 2 Maika Sivo, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 4 Will Hopoate, 5 Daniel Tupou; 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans; 8 Payne Haas, 9 Cameron Smith, 10 Josh Papalii; 11 John Bateman, 12 Kenny Bromwich; 13 Jake Trbojevic
Male Academic Player of the Year: Russell Packer (Wests Tigers)
Female Academic Player of the Year: Vanessa Foliaki (Sydney Roosters)
Indigenous Academic Excellence Award: Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne Storm)
Pasifika Academic Excellence Awards: Jayson Bukuya (Cronulla Sharks)
Academic Team of the Year: Vanessa Foliaki (Currently completing a Bachelor of Psychology, Massey University), Matthew Lodge (Completed a Diploma of Business and currently completing a Bachelor of Business, Swinburne University), James Tamou (Currently completing a Cert III in Carpentry and Cert III & IV in fitness and completed small Business, EABS), Will Hopoate (Completed a Diploma of Community Services and Cert IV in Community, Granville Tafe), Brett Morris (Currently completing a Cert III in Carpentry and Completed cert iv in small business, Gymea Tafe), Daniel Alvaro (Currently completing a Cert III in Carpentry, Meadowbank Tafe), Toafofoa Sipley (Completed a Bachelor of Education in High School teaching, University of Auckland), Jamie Buhrer (Currently completing a Bachelor in Sports Business Management, ACPE), Coen Hess (Currently doing Master of Business Administration and Completed a Diploma of Hospitality and Diploma of Business Management, CQU), Chanel Harris-Tavita (Currently completing a Bachelor of Business, Auckland University of Technology), Keegan Hipgrave (Currently completing a Bachelor of Business, QUT) Russell Packer (Currently completing a Masters Business Administration, UNSW) and Robbie Rochow (Currently completing a Bachelor of Engineering, UNSW)
NRL PLAYERS’ CHAMPION
2019 James Tedesco
2018 Kalyn Ponga
2017 James Tedesco
2016 Jason Taumalolo
2015 Johnathan Thurston
2014 Johnathan Thurston
2013 Johnathan Thurston
2012 Ben Barba
2011 Akuila Uate
2010 Darius Boyd
2009 Jarryd Hayne
2008 Braith Anasta & Petero Civoniceva
2007 Matt Bowen
2006 Ben Kennedy
2005 Johnathan Thurston
2004 Danny Buderus