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RLPA's Players' Champion contenders for 2023 announced

The Rugby League Players’ Association has announced the contenders for 2023 The Players’ Champion award, outlining the four players from each NRL team who are eligible for the accolade.

The Players’ Champion award winners (NRL and NRLW) will be announced during Channel 9’s Grand Final coverage on October 1.

Past recipients Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers), Kalyn Ponga (Newcastle Knights), and three-time and reigning champion James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters) feature on the impressive contenders list.

The Players’ Awards also include a Rookie of the Year, a Dream Team, and the Dennis Tutty Award for both NRL and NRLW players.

The 40 contenders from the NRLW competition will be announced on September 12.

About the Players’ Champion voting:

  • The contenders’ list is made up of four players from each club who are nominated to be eligible for the Players’ Champion individual award.
  • RLPA delegates put forward three contenders from their own teams before an RLPA working group nominates a fourth and final player from each team.
  • In total, 68 players are then eligible to receive Players’ Champion votes in the end-of-season poll.
  • Voting is open to all contracted NRL players, with each player selecting opposition contenders using a 3-2-1 format. Players cannot vote for their teammates.
  • Players are not penalised for any suspensions and/or fines received during the course of the season.
  • The player with the most number of votes across all teams is awarded the Players’ Champion.

All the Players’ Awards will be announced on Channel 9 on the following dates:

  • September 17: Dennis Tutty Award (NRL & NRLW)
  • September 19: Players’ Dream Team (NRL)
  • September 21: Players’ Champion Finalists (NRL & NRLW)
  • September 24: Players’ Rookie of the Year (NRL & NRLW)
  • September 28: Players’ Dream Team (NRLW)
  • October 1: The Players’ Champion (NRL & NRLW)
James Tedesco was crowned the RLPA's Players' Champion in 2022.
James Tedesco was crowned the RLPA's Players' Champion in 2022. ©Brett Costello/NRL Photos

Contenders for The Players’ Champion 2023:

Brisbane Broncos

  • Adam Reynolds
  • Reece Walsh
  • Payne Haas
  • Patrick Carrigan

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

  • Jacob Kiraz
  • Jacob Preston
  • Jake Averillo
  • Reed Mahoney

North Queensland Cowboys

  • Scott Drinkwater
  • Valentine Holmes
  • Tom Dearden
  • Reece Robson


  • Jamayne Isaako
  • Connelly Lemuelu
  • Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
  • Jeremy Marshall-King

St George Illawarra Dragons

  • Jack De Belin
  • Zac Lomax
  • Blake Lawrie
  • Ben Hunt

Parramatta Eels

  • Clint Gutherson
  • Mitch Moses
  • J’maine Hopgood
  • Junior Paulo

Newcastle Knights

  • Kalyn Ponga
  • Bradman Best
  • Jackson Hastings
  • Greg Marzhew

Penrith Panthers

  • Dylan Edwards
  • Brian To’o
  • Scott Sorensen
  • Nathan Cleary

South Sydney Rabbitohs

  • Damien Cook
  • Cody Walker
  • Campbell Graham
  • Cameron Murray

Canberra Raiders

  • Matt Timoko
  • Sebastian Kris
  • Joseph Tapine
  • Corey Horsburgh

Sydney Roosters

  • Lindsay Collins
  • Joseph Manu
  • James Tedesco
  • Daniel Tupou

Manly Sea Eagles

  • Daly Cherry-Evans
  • Reuben Garrick
  • Haumole Olakau'atu
  • Lachlan Croker

Cronulla Sharks

  • Nicho Hynes
  • Blayke Brailey
  • Briton Nikora
  • William Kennedy

Melbourne Storm

  • Harry Grant
  • Cameron Munster
  • Jahrome Hughes
  • Nick Meaney

Wests Tigers

  • Jahream Bula
  • John Bateman
  • David Klemmer
  • Apisai Koroisau

Gold Coast Titans

  • Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
  • Moeaki Fotuaika
  • Phillip Sami
  • David Fifita


  • Shaun Johnson
  • Addin Fonua-Blake
  • Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
  • Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.