St Helens lead the way in Man of Steel awards nominations
St Helens duo Ben Barba and James Roby plus Wigan Warriors' John Bateman are shortlisted for the 2018 Steve Prescott Man of Steel award - with Castleford Tigers' Jake Trueman and Leeds Rhinos' Jack Walker in the running for Super League's Young Player of the Year.
Chosen by a poll of every Betfred Super League player, the Man of Steel - the most prestigious individual honour in rugby league - is presented to the individual deemed by his peers to have had the biggest impact in the Super League this season.
Saints full-back Barba has lit up the competition this year and is currently Super League’s top try-scorer, the Australian star proving crucial as they eased to the League Leaders’ Shield earlier this month and a semi-final spot.
England hooker Roby has, of course, already won the Man of Steel back in 2007 but, now aged 32 and named Saints captain this year, continues to shine.
Hard-running second-row Bateman, meanwhile, has long been a dominant force for both Wigan and England so it is no surprise the 24-year-old former Bradford Bulls star is now preparing to join NRL outfit Canberra Raiders in 2019.
For the Super League Young Player of the Year, teenage half-back Trueman has excelled for Castleford, especially during the long absence of reigning Man of Steel and England No7 Luke Gale.
Saints prop Matty Lees has become a regular in Justin Holbrook’s team during injured England international Alex Walmsley’s long lay-off, the 20-year-old taking up the mantle.
Rhinos full-back Walker, meanwhile, has backed up his appearance in their Grand Final winning side last year with another brilliant campaign even though his side have ended up in the Qualifiers.
Following the success of the Women’s Super League this year, the Woman of Steel award will also be presented for the first time.
The nominees for the 2018 Woman of Steel award are Castleford duo Tara Jane-Stanley and Georgia Roche and Rhinos captain Lois Forsell.
Woman of Steel is chosen by a poll of every Women’s Super League player.
The awards will be presented at the event hosted in Manchester on Monday, October 8.