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2019 Dally M Medal winner James Tedesco.

A full NRL team of 13 will be acknowledged as part of an innovative overhaul of the Dally M awards in Sydney on October 19 with partners Fox Sports set to broadcast the ceremony live as a studio event. 

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo confirmed the changes to the awards system on Friday afternoon with the naming of a 1-13 NRL Team of the Year given the green light by the Australian Rugby League Commission.

Previously, one player has been crowned a standout in their position, which included the overall winner of the Dally M medal.

"It will give our fans the chance to see on paper what the very best NRL team would look like," Abdo said.

"We've never seen this before. There will be plenty of discussion and debate among our fans on comparing their selections which is a positive.

"Origin and Test Matches all have selection restrictions, this team will be the best possible in each and every position from 1 to 13."

Abdo confirmed the COVID-19 pandemic had forced change on the NRL's night of nights but the game, in support with the ARLC, is determined to keep the tradition of the awards evening alive.

The 2019 Dally M Team of the Year.
The 2019 Dally M Team of the Year. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

Biosecurity protocols and border restrictions will see live crosses to many of the NRL's players during the event.

"This year’s Dally Ms will be unique and a special celebration for players who have had exceptional seasons in an exceptionally challenging season," Abdo said.

"This year has been the toughest year in the game’s history to be a player. Our players have been disciplined within their respective biosecurity bubbles and have had to fly long distances on game day before playing. Our winners this year will be among the most deserving in the history of the Dally M Awards.

"COVID and biosecurity protocol restrictions have meant the evening cannot proceed as a traditional gala dinner, but we have worked together to create a unique way to celebrate the awards with fans and ensure our players are honoured in a way they deserve.

"The innovative plans Fox Sports have developed to present this year's awards will add another dimension for fans. The awards show will be a fitting tribute to the individuals that made the 2020 season compelling entertainment for all of us."

Wests Tigers hooker Harry Grant led the Dally M leaderboard before voting went behind closed doors in round 12, one point clear of two-time winner Cameron Smith and Parramatta captain Clint Gutherson.

Previous winners include Sydney Roosters star James Tedesco while Dragons centre Jessica Sergis was crowned best female player at the awards ceremony last year.

Female Dally M player of the year Jessica Sergis.
Female Dally M player of the year Jessica Sergis. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos
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