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Players' Champion nominations: The 64 contenders

Past winners Jason Taumalolo, James Tedesco and Kalyn Ponga and a crop of emerging superstars headline a star-studded 64-man short list for the RLPA's prestigious Players' Champion award to be announced in Sydney on October 14.

Powerhouse Cowboy Taumalolo was crowned Players' Champion in 2016 while Tedesco shone for Wests Tigers in 2017 and Ponga dazzled for Newcastle in 2018 - all three have been sensational in 2019 to give themselves a shot at a second Players' Champion trophy.

Young guns Payne Haas, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Bronson Xerri are also in the mix along with tryscoring sensations Maika Sivo and Ken Maumalo and the Storm's 400-game legend Cameron Smith. 

The four contenders from each club are comprised of three nominated by representatives from their own team and one player added by RLPA representatives.

Opponents will vote on the 64 contenders via a 3-2-1 basis with the Players' Champion to be crowned at a gala event the Foxtel on Oxford in Sydney.

Players from the List of Contenders are not only eligible for The Players’ Champion, but will also make-up the Players’ 13 Dream Team (most votes in each position).

With 2019 marking the 40th Anniversary of the RLPA, The Players’ Champion awards will not only crown the best NRL player as voted by his peers, but also celebrate the significant figures who played a role in shaping the game over the past four decades.

The top five nominees for the award will be announced on on Friday, October 4.

The event will also recognise and celebrate the NRLW Player of the Year, The Dennis Tutty Award, Rookie of the Year and the NRL-RLPA Wellbeing and Education Awards.

There will also be a tribute to retiring players and special recognition of players who have joined the 300 Club.


Here are the nominees:  

Brisbane: Payne Haas, Jake Turpin, Matt Lodge, Kotoni Staggs.

Canberra: John Bateman, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Jack Wighton, Josh Papalii.

Canterbury: Will Hopoate, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Josh Jackson, Corey Harawira-Naera.

Cronulla: Chad Townsend, Bronson Xerri, Briton Nikora, Josh Dugan.

Gold Coast: AJ Brimson, Moeaki Fotuaika, Jai Arrow, Brian Kelly.

Manly: Daly Cherry-Evans, Tom Trbojevic, Addin Fonua-Blake, Jake Trbojevic.

Melbourne: Cameron Smith, Cameron Munster, Jahrome Hughes, Kenny Bromwich.

Newcastle: Kalyn Ponga, Mitchell Pearce, David Klemmer, Mitch Barnett.

North Queensland: Jason Taumalolo, Michael Morgan, Jordan McLean, John Asiata.

Parramatta: Mitchell Moses, Maika Sivo, Clint Gutherson, Junior Paulo.

Penrith: James Fisher-Harris, Nathan Cleary, James Tamou, Viliame Kikau.

South Sydney: Damien Cook, Cody Walker, Adam Reynolds, Cameron Murray.

St George Illawarra: Cameron McInnes, Corey Norman, Paul Vaughan, Tyson Frizell.

Sydney Roosters: James Tedesco, Luke Keary, Latrell Mitchell, Daniel Tupou.

Warriors: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Ken Maumalo, Leeson Ah Mau, Blake Green.

Wests Tigers: Ryan Matterson, Luke Brooks, Corey Thompson, Benji Marshall.

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff 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.