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The Dally M Awards is a magical night on the National Rugby League calendar when the game celebrates the most outstanding performers from the current premiership season.

Hosted during Grand Final Week, and fittingly named after the game's first superstar Herbert "Dally" Messenger, the major awards presentation recognises the most outstanding Rookie from the current season, the Female Player of the Year, the Team of the Year and the coveted Dally M Medal Player of the Year. The black-tie event has earned a reputation for being Rugby League's night of nights, from the red carpet to the vote count, which is screened live on Fox Sports.

Introduced in 1980 by News Limited, the Dally M Awards was initially voted on by journalists at the Daily Mirror, and more recently the Daily Telegraph newspaper. The amalgamation of the game's governing bodies in 1998 would announce the Dally M Awards as the official awards event for the premiership season. In 2017, the NRL introduced an Awards and Recognition Committee, chaired by the NRL's Head of Football and including Wally Lewis, Laurie Daley, Roy Masters, Debbie Spillane, Mal Meninga and Ian Heads. The committee is responsible for overseeing and guiding the NRL's major award properties, including the Dally M Awards.

The Dally M Medal, which is proffered as the pinnacle award of the night, is aptly presented to the player deemed the Best & Fairest in the elite competition. Adjudicated by former recipients and greats of the sport such as Peter Sterling, Greg Alexander and Andrew Johns, the Dally M Medal symbolises consistency and excellence in performance across 26 rounds of regular season competition.

2017 Voting Process

Voting for the Dally M Medal utilises a 3, 2, 1 point allocation after each Premiership match, with 3 points awarded to the player the judge believed to have been the best on field, 2 points for the second best and 1 point for the third best. Points for each match and the Dally M leader board are publicly available during the first 14 rounds of the competition. After this, voting goes behind closed doors, with anticipation building to the announcement of the winner during Grand Final Week.

The Team of the Year recognises the best player in each position across the 26 rounds. The 2017 event will see the addition of the interchange position to the Team of the Year, acknowledging the importance of impact players in the modern game and their ability to change the momentum of a match and influence the outcome. Consistent with the Dally M Medal, Team of the Year voting occurs after each regular season premiership match. Players who receive Dally M Medal points will automatically receive respective 3, 2, 1 Team of the Year points in their position. Players selected for the remaining positions will receive 1 Team of the Year point in their position.

All votes are submitted by judges at the conclusion of each Premiership match. Prior to the submission of votes, judges are provided with the match summary and key individual statistics to help inform their vote. Accounting firm Ernst & Young collects and manages votes, reporting the results to the NRL at the conclusion of the 26 Premiership rounds.

Players who are suspended throughout the season are deducted three Dally M points for each week of suspension. Any player who is suspended for two separate offences in any one season becomes ineligible for the Dally M Medal and Team of the Year.

2017 Dally M Leaderboard

This is the Dally M Leaderboard at the conclusion of Round 14 before voting went behind closed doors.

+ Show 2017 Leaderboard

PlayerClubPoints
Cameron SmithMelbourne Storm20
Mitchell PearceSydney Roosters15
Roger Tuivasa-SheckNew Zealand Warriors15
Paul GallenCronulla Sharks14
Paul VaughanSt George Illawarra Dragons14
Billy SlaterMelbourne Storm13
Clinton GuthersonParramatta Eels13
Gareth WiddopSt George Illawarra Dragons13
Matt MoylanPenrith Panthers13
Wade GrahamCronulla Sharks13
Luke KearySydney Roosters11
Sam BurgessSouth Sydney Rabbitohs11
Corey NormanParramatta Eels10
Jordan RapanaCanberra Raiders10
Matt GillettBrisbane Broncos10
Michael MorganNorth Queensland Cowboys10
Anthony MilfordBrisbane Broncos9
Tom TrbojevicManly Sea Eagles9

Judging Panel

The Awards and Recognition Committee invites a respected panel of retired players to adjudicate on the Dally M awards each year. Judges must be retired from elite rugby league for a minimum of two years.

The 2017 judging panel includes:

  • Greg Alexander
  • Braith Anasta
  • Richie Barnett
  • Gary Belcher
  • Monty Betham
  • Darryl Brohman
  • Danny Buderus
  • Brett Finch
  • Joe Galuvao
  • Mark Gasnier
  • Ryan Girdler
  • Daryl Halligan
  • Andrew Johns
  • Dallas Johnson
  • Brett Kimmorley
  • Darren Lockyer
  • Steve Menzies
  • Steve Roach
  • Andrew Ryan
  • Jimmy Smith
  • Peter Sterling
  • Alan Tongue
  • Kevin Walters

Event Details

The Dally M Medal is a Rugby League's grand celebration in Grand Final Week. Held in Sydney each year just days before the Premiership decider, it has built a reputation for being Rugby League's night of nights.

From the glitz of the red carpet through to the star-studded guest list, the entertainment and the awards presentation itself, the event is an opportunity for the best of the best in Rugby League to come together.

The black-tie event is screened live on Fox Sports and helps to build momentum into the Grand Final.

The prestige of the acknowledgement of the best players across the NRL Telstra Premiership, the representative season, as well as the best female player and best rookie, culminates in the announcement of the best player in the game.

Previous Winners

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1980's

1980 Robert Laurie Five-eighth South Sydney Rabbitohs
1981 Steve Rogers Lock Cronulla Sharks
1982 Ray Price Lock Parramatta Eels
1983 Terry Lamb Five-eighth Western Suburbs
1984 Michael Potter Fullback Canterbury Bulldogs
1985 Greg Alexander Halfback Penrith Panthers
1986 Peter Sterling Halfback Parramatta Eels
1987 Peter Sterling Halfback Parramatta Eels
1988 Gavin Miller Second-row Cronulla Sharks
1989 Gavin Miller Second-row Cronulla Sharks
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1990's

1990 Cliff Lyons Five-eighth Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1991 Michael Potter Fullback St George Dragons
1992 Gary Freeman Halfback Eastern Suburbs Roosters
1993 Ricky Stuart Halfback Canberra Raiders
1994 Cliff Lyons Five-eighth Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1995 Laurie Daley Five-eighth Canberra Raiders
1996 Allan Langer Halfback Brisbane Broncos
1998 Andrew Johns Halfback Newcastle Knights
1999 Andrew Johns Halfback Newcastle Knights
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2000's

2000 Trent Barrett Five-eighth St George-Illawarra
2001 Preston Campbell Halfback, Fullback Cronulla
2002 Andrew Johns Halfback Newcastle Knights
2004 Danny Buderus Hooker Newcastle Knights
2005 Johnathan Thurston Halfback North Queensland Cowboys
2006 Cameron Smith Hooker Melbourne Storm
2007 Johnathan Thurston Halfback North Queensland Cowboys
2008 Matt Orford Halfback Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
2009 Jarryd Hayne Fullback Parramatta Eels
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2010's

2010 Todd Carney Five-eighth Sydney Roosters
2011 Billy Slater Fullback Melbourne Storm
2012 Ben Barba Fullback Canterbury Bulldogs
2013 Cooper Cronk Halfback Melbourne Storm
2014 Jarryd Hayne Fullback Parramatta Eels
2014 Johnathan Thurston Five-eighth North Queensland Cowboys
2015 Johnathan Thurston Five-eighth North Queensland Cowboys
2016 Cooper Cronk Halfback Melbourne Storm
2016 Jason Taumalolo Lock North Queensland Cowboys

The award was not presented in 1997 (Super League) and 2003 (Industrial action by players).

Frequently Asked Questions

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Are Dally M Medal points awarded for representative matches, for example, State of Origin and Test Matches?

No. The Dally M's recognises the best players across the 26 rounds of the NRL Telstra Premiership each year.
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What happens when players are stood down from NRL Telstra Premiership matches for State of Origin duty?

To allow for the stand-down rounds during the State of Origin period, each player's best 21 point-receiving matches are taken into account when determining the final points for each player.
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How is each player's position determined?

For each NRL Telstra Premiership fixture, players are allocated the position they are assigned in the final team list, which is submitted by each team's football manager one hour prior to kick-off. Where there is an injury or late withdrawal after the final team list is submitted and prior to kick-off, players will receive the position they are playing at the start of the match. Once allocated, a player will retain their position regardless of whether he changes positions throughout the match.
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What happens when a player plays more than one position throughout the season?

When calculating Team of the Year recipients, players will be allocated the position they polled the greatest number of Team of the Year points in throughout the season. Team of the Year points are not transferable between positions. However, leading players in the Top 10 of the Dally M Medal Count automatically receive their respective position in the Team of the Year.
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What happens in the event of a tie?

Where there is a tie for the Dally M Medal, co-winners will be announced. If those players also happen to be allocated the same position, they will also be co-winners of that position in the Team of the Year.

Where two players are allocated the same position and share an equal number of points in the Dally M Medal Top 10, the player with the greatest number of Team of the Year points in their position will receive that positional award. Where the two players cannot be split, countback will revert to the player who was awarded the greatest number of '3 points' in the Dally M Medal, then '2 points', then '1 points'.

For positions not featured in the Dally M Medal Top 10, the player with the greatest number of Team of the Year points in those positions will receive that award. If there is a tie, countback will revert to the player who was awarded the greatest number of '3 points' in the Dally M Medal, then '2 points', then '1 points'.

Irrespective of the above methodology, final determinations on all Dally M Awards are made by the NRL.
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Who is eligible for Rookie of the Year?

Players are only eligible for the Rookie of the Year in their debut year and the subsequent two seasons. Once a player plays his fourth NRL Premiership match (or English Super League match), he becomes ineligible for the Rookie of the Year in any subsequent seasons. The Rookie of the Year is voted on a 3, 2, 1 basis by the judging panel at the conclusion of the 26 Premiership rounds. A rookie who is suspended for two separate offences in any one season becomes ineligible for the Rookie of the Year award.