The Dally M Awards is a magical night on the National Rugby League calendar when the game celebrates the most outstanding performers from the current premiership season.

Hosted during Grand Final Week, and fittingly named after the game's first superstar Herbert "Dally" Messenger, the major awards presentation recognises the most outstanding Rookie from the current season, the Female Player of the Year, the Team of the Year and the coveted Dally M Medal Player of the Year.

The black-tie event has earned a reputation for being Rugby League's night of nights, from the red carpet to the vote count, which is screened live on Fox Sports.

Introduced in 1980 by News Limited, the Dally M Awards was initially voted on by journalists at the Daily Mirror, and more recently the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The amalgamation of the game's governing bodies in 1998 would announce the Dally M Awards as the official awards event for the premiership season.

In 2017, the NRL introduced an Awards and Recognition Committee, chaired by the NRL's Head of Football and including Wally Lewis, Laurie Daley, Roy Masters, Debbie Spillane, Mal Meninga and Ian Heads.

The committee is responsible for overseeing and guiding the NRL's major award properties, including the Dally M Awards.

The Dally M Medal, which is proffered as the pinnacle award of the night, is aptly presented to the player deemed the Best & Fairest in the elite competition.

Adjudicated by former recipients and greats of the sport such as Peter Sterling, Greg Alexander and Andrew Johns, the Dally M Medal symbolises consistency and excellence in performance across 26 rounds of regular season competition.

2017 Voting Process

Voting for the Dally M Medal utilises a 3, 2, 1 point allocation after each Premiership match, with 3 points awarded to the player the judge believed to have been the best on field, 2 points for the second best and 1 point for the third best.

Points for each match and the Dally M leader board are publicly available during the first 14 rounds of the competition.

After this, voting goes behind closed doors, with anticipation building to the announcement of the winner during Grand Final Week.

The Team of the Year recognises the best player in each position across the 26 rounds.

The 2017 event will see the addition of the interchange position to the Team of the Year, acknowledging the importance of impact players in the modern game and their ability to change the momentum of a match and influence the outcome.

Consistent with the Dally M Medal, Team of the Year voting occurs after each regular season premiership match.

Players who receive Dally M Medal points will automatically receive respective 3, 2, 1 Team of the Year points in their position.

Players selected for the remaining positions will receive 1 Team of the Year point in their position.

All votes are submitted by judges at the conclusion of each Premiership match.

Prior to the submission of votes, judges are provided with the match summary and key individual statistics to help inform their vote.

Accounting firm Ernst & Young collects and manages votes, reporting the results to the NRL at the conclusion of the 26 Premiership rounds.

Players who are suspended throughout the season are deducted three Dally M points for each week of suspension.

Any player who is suspended for two separate offences in any one season becomes ineligible for the Dally M Medal and Team of the Year.

2017 Dally M Leaderboard

This is the Dally M Leaderboard at the conclusion of Round 14 before voting went behind closed doors.

Player Club Points
Cameron Smith Melbourne Storm 20
Mitchell Pearce Sydney Roosters 15
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck New Zealand Warriors 15
Paul Gallen Cronulla Sharks 14
Paul Vaughan St George Illawarra Dragons 14
Billy Slater Melbourne Storm 13
Clinton Gutherson Parramatta Eels 13
Gareth Widdop St George Illawarra Dragons 13
Matt Moylan Penrith Panthers 13
Wade Graham Cronulla Sharks 13
Luke Keary Sydney Roosters 11
Sam Burgess South Sydney Rabbitohs 11
Corey Norman Parramatta Eels 10
Jordan Rapana Canberra Raiders 10
Matt Gillett Brisbane Broncos 10
Michael Morgan North Queensland Cowboys 10
Anthony Milford Brisbane Broncos 9
Tom Trbojevic Manly Sea Eagles 9

Judging Panel

The Awards and Recognition Committee invites a respected panel of retired players to adjudicate on the Dally M awards each year.

Judges must be retired from elite rugby league for a minimum of two years.

The 2017 judging panel includes:

  • Greg Alexander
  • Braith Anasta
  • Richie Barnett
  • Gary Belcher
  • Monty Betham
  • Darryl Brohman
  • Danny Buderus
  • Brett Finch
  • Joe Galuvao
  • Mark Gasnier
  • Ryan Girdler
  • Daryl Halligan
  • Andrew Johns
  • Dallas Johnson
  • Brett Kimmorley
  • Darren Lockyer
  • Steve Menzies
  • Steve Roach
  • Andrew Ryan
  • Jimmy Smith
  • Peter Sterling
  • Alan Tongue
  • Kevin Walters

Event Details

The Dally M Medal is a Rugby League's grand celebration in Grand Final Week.

Held in Sydney each year just days before the Premiership decider, it has built a reputation for being Rugby League's night of nights.

From the glitz of the red carpet through to the star-studded guest list, the entertainment and the awards presentation itself, the event is an opportunity for the best of the best in Rugby League to come together.

The black-tie event is screened live on Fox Sports and helps to build momentum into the Grand Final.

The prestige of the acknowledgement of the best players across the NRL Telstra Premiership, the representative season, as well as the best female player and best rookie, culminates in the announcement of the best player in the game.

Previous Winners

2010 | Todd Carney | Five-eighth | Sydney Roosters

2011 | Billy Slater | Fullback |  Melbourne Storm

2012 | Ben Barba | Fullback | Canterbury Bulldogs

2013 | Cooper Cronk | Halfback | Melbourne Storm

2014 | Jarryd Hayne | Fullback | Parramatta Eels

2014 | Johnathan Thurston | Five-eighth | North Queensland Cowboys

2015 | Johnathan Thurston | Five-eighth | North Queensland Cowboys

2016 | Cooper Cronk | Halfback | Melbourne Storm

2016 | Jason Taumalolo | Lock | North Queensland Cowboys