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For the first time, Rugby League fans will be able to vote for the game’s Telstra Ken Stephen Medal winner – the award that pays tribute to the NRL player who has made the most outstanding contribution to community each year.

By the end of Round 26, all 16 clubs will have nominated the player who has starred both on and off the field with this year’s nominees featuring:

Nick Kenny (Broncos); Andrew Ryan (Bulldogs); Justin Carney (Raiders); Luke Douglas (Sharks); Preston Campbell (Titans); George Rose (Sea Eagles); Brett White (Storm); Ben Rogers (Knights); Matt Bowen (Cowboys); Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels); Petero Civoniceva (Panthers); Wendell Sailor (Dragons); Jamie Simpson (Rabbitohs); Anthony Minichiello (Roosters); Manu Vatuvei (Warriors); Corey Payne (Wests Tigers).

The online poll, which opened today on, will result in the judging panel recording a vote for the public’s nominated player when tallying the panel’s final votes.

Award nominees Nathan Hindmarsh, Andrew Ryan and Wendell Sailor today joined NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, for the 2009 State of the Game announcement, which paid tribute to players across the game who have been involved in more than 22,000 hours of community and charity work throughout the season.

“It’s appropriate that at a time when crowds continue to rise, when ratings reach new highs and when all eyes are on the race for the final eight that the game takes time to recognise those players who inspire people both on and off the field,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said.

“The Telstra Ken Stephen Medal for outstanding service to the community is one that every player should aspire to and the list of past winners, from Wayne Pearce in 1988 to Preston Campbell in 2008, symbolises the contribution players make on a daily basis.”

The Telstra Ken Stephen Medal will be presented at the annual One Community Awards in Sydney on Tuesday, November 24.

The award is named after a talented player, gentleman and administrator who served the game for 38 years, 21 of those years as the NSWRL secretary, the late Ken Stephen.

Click here to nominate a player for the Ken Stephen Medal

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours 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.

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