Sydney Roosters captain and fullback James Tedesco has been awarded the prestigious Jack Gibson Medal at the 2021 Sydney Roosters 2021 Awards Night.
Tedesco has created history; becoming the second player in Club history to claim the prestigious award four times, and the first to do so on four consecutive occasions.
Taking over the captaincy duties in 2021 following the mid-season retirements of Jake Friend and Boyd Cordner, Tedesco led the side through immense adversity and played a major role in the Roosters’ charge to the second week of finals with a number of match-winning performances throughout the year.
Awarded to the Player of the Year, the Jack Gibson Medal is voted for at the conclusion of every game by the entire Roosters NRL squad and Head Coach Trent Robinson, with votes tallied across the season. Former captain Boyd Cordner presented Tedesco with the award.
Tedesco’s popularity also extended to the committed Sydney Roosters Members, as he was also awarded the Members Player of the Year for a second year running.
Nat Butcher Awarded 2021 James Mathews Award for Clubman of the Year and Roosters Our Community Award
Forward Nat Butcher has been awarded the James Mathews Award for Clubman of the Year as well as the Roosters Our Community Award for his contributions to the Club both on and off the field as a leader amongst his teammates as well as in the Roosters community.
Following the Roosters’ pre-season trip to the Northern Rivers Region, Butcher was a strong contributor to the promotion of Junior Rugby League registrations in the area, before organising a trip to Casino which saw him interact further with fans and junior players.
Butcher’s work in the community also extended to primary schools where he delivered a health and wellbeing program to 120 students of St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School, as well as his contribution to the Club’s Ronald McDonald House program at Randwick Children’s Hospital, which saw him organise extra visits and zoom calls with the Little Legends and their families.
Furthermore, Butcher’s extensive support for The Boys and Girls Brigade in Surry Hills since 2018 – which provides a safe and welcoming place for children, youth and families – has seen him nominated for the Ken Stephens Community Award in 2021.
The ever-reliable forward found himself with a seniority role on a number of occasions through the season, regularly shifting between a starting position on the edge and as a middle forward from the interchange bench.
In his sixth season in the NRL, Butcher continued to further his responsibility on the field, evidenced by his whopping 70 tackles in the Round 9 match against Parramatta.
Joseph Manu Awarded 2021 Steggles Try of the Year
Sydney Roosters Members and supporters’ Steggles Try of the Year was Joseph Manu’s solo effort against the Canberra Raiders in the Round 12 clash at Central Coast Stadium.
With eight options to choose from, Roosters Members were clearly impressed most by Manu’s four-pointer against the Raiders, which started with a well-devised one-on-one strip in the second half to take possession.
Just a few tackles later, the powerful centre launched an aerial raid 20 metres from the line, before beating his opponents to take the catch and touch down for a staggering individual effort. The Roosters went on to win the match 44-16.
Steggles Try of the Week - Round 12
Sam Walker Awarded 2021 Harry Phipps Rising Star Award
Nineteen-year-old halfback Sam Walker collected the Harry Phipps Rising Star award, making 21 appearances in his rookie season, which also included 8 tries, 23 goals, 2 field goals, 19 try assists and 22 linebreak assists.
Walker was also the recipient of the Ashton-Collier Medal in the Round 7 Anzac Day Cup match as man of the match, and kicked two match-winning field goals against the Gold Coast Titans in the Round 14 and Finals Week One matches respectively.
Sandon Smith Awarded Chris Sykes Junior Representative Player of the Year
Sandon Smith has been presented with the Chris Sykes Junior Representative Player of the Year Award.
After helping to guide the Sydney Roosters’ SG Ball (U19s) side to the semi-finals, Smith also featured a number of matches in the Jersey Flegg Cup (U21a) before the competition was forced to be abandoned mid-year.
The talented halfback/five-eighth has been earmarked as a player for the future, and will no doubt feature prominently in the Sydney Roosters’ 2022 Jersey Flegg season.
Barry Van Heekeren “MOCCA” Award
Club Head Physiotherapist Stephen Brennan has been awarded the Barry Van Heekeren “MOCCA” Award for 2021 for his tireless efforts throughout the season, which included relocating to the Sunshine Coast hub.
The award winners on the night were:
Steggles Try of the Year: Joseph Manu
Members Player of the Year: James Tedesco
Roosters Our Community Award: Nat Butcher
Barry Van Heekeren “MOCCA” Award: Stephen Brennan
Harry Phipps Rising Star Award: Sam Walker
Chris Sykes Award (Junior Representative Player of the Year): Sandon Smith
James Mathews Clubman of the Year: Nat Butcher
Jack Gibson Medal: James Tedesco