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Tedesco, Sergis crowned 2019 RLPA Players' Champions

The accolades continue to come for James Tedesco and Jessica Sergis, with the star duo claiming their respective The Players' Champion awards on Monday night.

Eight days after scoring the try that iced the Roosters' second straight premiership, Tedesco collected the esteemed peer-voted honour at the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) awards night in Sydney.

The NSW and Australian representative beat out finalists Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Payne Haas, Cameron Munster and Cameron Smith in the annual players' poll.

The fullback joined ex-Cowboys legend Johnathan Thurston as the only player to win the gong multiple times, having been crowned the game's best when he was at the Tigers in 2017.

Tedesco, 26, had already claimed the Wally Lewis Medal, Brad Fittler Medal, Dally M Medal and Jack Gibson Medal in 2019.

"James has no doubt had an incredible season, he has won nearly every award possible this year and is now The Players' Champion with his peers acknowledging his extraordinary efforts," RLPA CEO Ian Prendergast said.

Following on from becoming the second female Dally M Medal recipient, St George Illawarra's gun centre Jessica Sergis earned the first NRLW Players' Champion title.

Botille Vette-Welsh, Rona Peters, Georgia Hale and Charntay Poko were the other finalists.

"We are proud to this year introduce the NRLW Players' Champion award, with Jess enjoying a stellar year with the Dragons and a deserving winner of the inaugural honour," Prendergast said.

Sergis intercepts her way to a double

Other winners included David Gower (the Dennis Tutty Award for advancing the interests of their fellow players), Haas (Rookie of the Year), Russell Packer (Male Academic Player of the Year), Vanessa Foliaki (Female Academic Player of the Year), Josh Addo-Carr (Indigenous Academic Excellence) and Jayson Bukuya (Pasifika Academic Excellence).

The ceremony at Foxtel on Oxford celebrated the 40th anniversary of the RLPA.

"I want to thank everyone who joined us for the event, including some of the pioneers of the Association, and also pay tribute to everyone who has played a role in the RLPA's history," Prendergast said.

Full list of winners

NRL Players' Champion: James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)   

NRLW Players' Champion: Jessica Sergis (St George Illawarra Dragons)

The Dennis Tutty Award: David Gower (Parramatta Eels)

Rookie of the Year: Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos)

The Players' 13 Dream Team: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Maika Sivo, 3. Latrell Mitchell, 4. Will Hopoate, 5. Daniel Tupou, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Payne Haas, 9. Cameron Smith, 10. Josh Papalii, 11. John Bateman,12. Kenny Bromwich, 13. Jake Trbojevic

Male Academic Player of the Year: Russell Packer (Wests Tigers)

Female Academic Player of the Year: Vanessa Foliaki (Sydney Roosters)

Indigenous Academic Excellence Award: Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne Storm)

Pasifika Academic Excellence Awards: Jayson Bukuya (Cronulla Sharks)

Academic Team of the Year: Vanessa Foliaki (Currently completing a Bachelor of Psychology, Massey University)

Matthew Lodge (Completed a Diploma of Business and currently completing a Bachelor of Business, Swinburne University)

James Tamou (Currently completing a Cert III in Carpentry and Cert III & IV in fitness and completed small Business, EABS)

Will Hopoate (Completed a Diploma of Community Services and Cert IV in Community, Granville Tafe)

Brett Morris (Currently completing a Cert III in Carpentry and Completed cert iv in small business, Gymea Tafe)

Daniel Alvaro (Currently completing a Cert III in Carpentry, Meadowbank Tafe)

Toafofoa Sipley (Completed a Bachelor of Education in High School teaching, University of Auckland)

Jamie Buhrer (Currently completing a Bachelor in Sports Business Management, ACPE)

Coen Hess (Currently doing Master of Business Administration and completed a Diploma of Hospitality and Diploma of Business Management, CQU)

Chanel Harris-Tavita (Currently completing a Bachelor of Business, Auckland University of Technology)

Keegan Hipgrave (Currently completing a Bachelor of Business, QUT)

Russell Packer (Currently completing a Masters Business Administration, UNSW)

Robbie Rochow (Currently completing a Bachelor of Engineering, UNSW)

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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