Yesterday the Rugby league caused some surprises with their announcement of their Nominations for the Championships end of season awards. The surprise to many was that run-away Championship leaders Toronto Wolfpack who are on cause for their second successive promotion, this time into the elite realm of Super League haven’t received a single nomination in any category within the major awards.
Although the Wolfpack have dominated this years Championship they have done so with an experienced squad made up of many former Super league players and a sprinkling of former NRL players with the sole intention of getting into Super league. With this in mind the awards can be seen as a true representation of what the teams who have finished just below the Wolf pack have achieved on a far smaller budget with Halifax still containing a mostly part time playing rota.
Champions hip runners up Toulouse on the other hand have two of their players in contention for the player of the year title with Australian Stand off Johnathon Ford being joined by French international Mark Kheirallah, who is believed to be attracting the attention of a number of Super league clubs after some excellent performances in the qualifiers including two tries and seven goals in the defeat of Super league side Widnes Vikings. The other two players up for the award are Halifax skipper Scott Murrell, who has plenty of experience after playing in Super league for a number of years with various sides, while Leeds Rhino’s new recruit Luke Briscoe has been a sensation on the wing for Featherstone Rovers, were he scored in 17 consecutive games earlier this year and has since resigned with his former club Leeds Rhino’s on dual registration until the end of this season.
The coach of the year award is between their coach’s that have all lead their sides into this season’s qualifiers competition, Danny Ward (London), Sylvain Houles (Toulouse) and Richard Marshall (Halifax) who has won this accolade previously in 2015.
The young player award see’s one of last year’s contenders Brandon Moore continuing his development after being nominated again, alongside St Helens centre Matty Costello and Leeds Rhino’s centre Harry Newman who have both been playing for Sheffield Eagles and Featherstone Rovers respectively on dual registration.