iSelect Titans co-captain Nate Myles was last night awarded the prestigious Dennis Tutty Award at the Rugby League Players Association’s annual awards night in Sydney.
On the night that North Queensland’s Johnathan Thurston was announced as the RLPA’s player of the year, judged from a weekly vote of his peers, Myles received the Tutty award which is handed annually to a player who has demonstrated the same qualities of commitment and determination as Dennis Tutty to champion and defend the rights of players.
Three others Titans figures were honoured on the night when Blues representatives Luke Bailey and Greg Bird and Maroons legend Trevor Gillmeister were inducted into the RLPA Origin Gold Club presented by Seiko in recognition of having made at least 15 appearances for their state.
Earlier in the night Myles was given his award by the man in whose honour it was named.
“We were thrilled to have Dennis Tutty join us tonight, not least because of his significant contribution to the rights rugby league players enjoy today,” said RLPA CEO David Garnsey. “Nate continues the tradition of leadership both on the field and off and has taken an active role at the Titans, and more widely, in promoting player rights and in engaging others in the debate about issues of concern to all players.”
A strong finish to the season saw Thurston, who claimed the accolade in 2005 and 2013, retain the title ahead of 2009 medallist Jarryd Hayne, Anthony Milford, Jesse Bromwich and Gareth Widdop who were all finalists for the award that is determined by votes lodged by players after each game of the NRL regular season.
"I pride myself on the way that I play so to be able to accept this award is truly humbling,” said Thurston who sent a video message from Townsville where he is preparing with the Cowboys team for Friday’s semi-final clash with the Sydney Roosters.
“In my eyes there is no higher honour in the game (than) to be voted one of the best by your peers.”
Earlier in the night Thurston was named the Australian Representative Player of the Year for his performances across World Cup, Test and Origin competition. Shaun Johnson was named New Zealand Representative Player of the Year.
John Morris (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks), Brent Kite (Penrith Panthers) and Anthony Minichiello (Sydney Roosters) were honoured with the RLPA Milestone Award to mark the achievement of playing 300 first grade games.
Below is the list of winners of the 2014 RLPA Players’ Award recipients:
- RLPA Players' Player Medal - Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys)
- RLPA Rookie of the Year - Luke Brooks (Wests Tigers) NYC nominee 2013
- RLPA National Youth Competition (NYC) Player of the Year - Sione Mata’utia (Newcastle Knights)
- One Solutions Australian Representative Player of the Year - Johnathan Thurston
- One Solutions New Zealand Representative Player of the Year - Shaun Johnson
- One Solutions Rest of the World Representative Player of the Year - Anthony Milford - Samoa
- RLPA Milestone Awards (300 Games) - John Morris, Brent Kite, Anthony Minichiello
- RLPA Chairman’s Award - Andrew Fifita, Boyd Cordner, Matt Gillett,Josh Papalii, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Sam Moa, Peta Hiku, Isaac John, Ben Henry, Siliva Havili , Martin Taupau
Welfare & Education Awards
- RLPA NYC Trade Player of the Year - Aaron Rockley (Brisbane Broncos)
- RLPA NYC Education Player of the Year - Adam Elliott (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs) & Christian Welch (Melbourne Storm)
- RLPA NRL Trade Player of the Year - Peni Terepo (Parramatta Eels)
- RLPA NRL Education Player of the Year - John Morris (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks)
- RLPA Education & Welfare Club of the Year - Melbourne Storm