Dally M Medal

The Dally M Medal is awarded each year (annually) to the player voted for as the 'Player of the year' over the National Rugby League (NRL) regular season. The awards are named in honour of former Australian rugby league great Herbert Henry "Dally" Messenger. The award has existed since 1979, but has only been adopted as the official award for the Player of the Year in the NRL since 1998. Prior to that the official Player of the Year, in both the New South Wales and the Brisbane Rugby Leagues, received the Rothmans Medal whilst the Dally M Medal was awarded by the Daily Mirror newspaper.

Dally M Medal
2019 Dally M Awards
Awarded forThe Player of the year in the National Rugby League
Country Australia
First awarded1979
Currently held by James Tedesco
Most awards Johnathan Thurston
(2005, 2007, 2014, 2015)
Television/radio coverage
NetworkFox Sports


After each game, rugby league sports commentators vote to award three votes to the best player, two votes to the second-best player, and one vote to the third-best player. Additionally, a player will lose three votes for each week of suspension that he incurs during the season. The votes for each round are made public up to Round 16 (26-round season), then are kept secret; this allows the final winner to be kept secret until the Dally M Awards ceremony.


Rothmans Medal

The Rothmans Medal was the first official player-of-the-year award to be established in rugby league in Australia. The medal was sponsored by Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc., a tobacco production company. There were two Rothmans Medals awarded each year: one for the best player in the New South Wales Rugby League, and one for the best player in the Brisbane Rugby League. The voting for the Rothmans Medal was the same basic format as the modern day Dally M, except that the votes were determined by the referees, rather than the media.

The two Rothmans Medals were first awarded in 1968, and were awarded each year until 1996. In 1997, the Rothmans Medal in New South Wales became known as the Provan-Summons medal, because all tobacco advertising and sponsorship was prohibited in Australia in 1992, under the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992; the medal then disappeared altogether in 1998 with the merger of the Australian Rugby League and the Australian Super League. The Queensland Rothmans Medal was also last awarded in 1996, as the Queensland Cup superseded the Brisbane Rugby League as Queensland's premier rugby league competition in 1997.

Dally M Medal

The Dally M Medal was named after Henry Herbert 'Dally' Messenger, who was instrumental in the establishment of rugby league football in Australia. The award was originally established in 1979 by The Daily Mirror newspaper in 1979. For many years, it was the second major individual award in the New South Wales Rugby League behind the Rothmans Medal. It was awarded each year between 1979 and 1996. With the Super League schism in 1997, the medal was not awarded.

Since the National Rugby League (NRL) was formed from the merger of the Australian Rugby League and the Australian Super League in 1998, the Dally M Medal has been the single official player-of-the-year award for that league, and the highest individual honour in Australian rugby league. The medal is awarded, usually by the Australian Prime Minister, at the annual Dally M Awards night where as well as honouring the player of the year, the NRL recognises the premier player in each position, the best coach and the most outstanding rookie of the season.

The medal was notably not awarded in 2003, with the players first threatening to boycott the event, followed by the league cancelling the event, during a pay dispute between the league and the players association which was going on at the time.[1] Penrith's Craig Gower, who led by one vote entering the final round and was unofficially considered man of the match in the final round, is the player thought to have missed out on winning the award as a result.[2]

Venues and Broadcasters

Year Broadcaster(s) Venue
2003 No broadcaster Not held
2004 Fox Sports Sydney Town Hall
2005 Fox Sports Sydney Town Hall
2006 Fox Sports Sydney Town Hall
2007 Fox Sports Sydney Town Hall
2008 Fox Sports Hordern Pavilion
2009 Fox Sports State Theatre
2011 Royal Hall of Industries,
The Entertainment Quarter
2012 Fox Sports Sydney Town Hall
2013 Fox Sports Star Casino
2014 Fox Sports Star Casino
2015 Fox Sports Star Casino
2016 Fox Sports Star Casino
2017 Fox League Star Casino
2018 Fox League Overseas Passenger Terminal

Dally M Medal winners

NSWRL and ARL (1979–1996)

Year Winner Position Club
1979 Steve Morris Halfback St George Dragons
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 Magpies
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
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

NRL (1998–present)

Year Winner Position Club
1998 Andrew Johns Halfback Newcastle Knights
1999 Andrew Johns Halfback Newcastle Knights
2000 Trent Barrett Five-eighth St George Illawarra Dragons
2001 Preston Campbell Halfback, Fullback Cronulla Sharks
2002 Andrew Johns Halfback Newcastle Knights
2003 Not awarded due to industrial action
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
2010 Todd Carney Five-eighth Sydney Roosters
2011 Billy Slater Fullback Melbourne Storm
2012 Ben Barba Fullback Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
2013 Cooper Cronk Halfback Melbourne Storm
2014 Jarryd Hayne1
Johnathan Thurston1
Parramatta Eels
North Queensland Cowboys
2015 Johnathan Thurston Halfback North Queensland Cowboys
2016 Cooper Cronk2
Jason Taumalolo2
Melbourne Storm
North Queensland Cowboys
2017 Cameron Smith Hooker Melbourne Storm
2018 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck Fullback New Zealand Warriors
2019 James Tedesco Fullback Sydney Roosters

1 – Jarryd Hayne and Johnathan Thurston became the 1st joint winners in history of the Dally M Medal in 2014
2 – Cooper Cronk and Jason Taumalolo became the 2nd joint winners in history of the Dally M Medal in 2016

Multiple winners

The following players have won the Dally M Medal multiple times.

Medals Player Team Seasons
4 Johnathan Thurston North Queensland Cowboys 2005, 2007, 2014, 2015
3 Andrew Johns Newcastle Knights1998, 1999, 2002
Michael Potter Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, St George Dragons1984, 1991
Peter Sterling Parramatta Eels1986, 1987
Gavin Miller Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks1988, 1989
Cliff Lyons Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles1990, 1994
Cameron Smith Melbourne Storm 2006, 2017
Jarryd Hayne Parramatta Eels2009, 2014
Cooper Cronk Melbourne Storm2013, 2016

Wins by Club

Medals Team Seasons
5 Parramatta Eels 1982, 1986, 1987, 2009, 2014
North Queensland Cowboys 2005, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016
Melbourne Storm 2006, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017
4 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 1981, 1988, 1989, 2001
Newcastle Knights 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004
3 Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 1990, 1994, 2008
Sydney Roosters 1992, 2010, 2019
2 St George Dragons 1979, 1991
Canberra Raiders 1993, 1995
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 1984, 2012
1 South Sydney Rabbitohs 1980
Western Suburbs Magpies 1983
Penrith Panthers 1985
Brisbane Broncos 1996
St George Illawarra Dragons 2000
New Zealand Warriors 2018
  • No award in 1997 and 2003
  • Multiple winners in 2014 and 2016

See also


  1. "Accusations fly as NRL cancels Dally M awards". Australia: ABC News. 5 September 2003. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  2. Pace, Daniel (9 September 2003). "Freddie backs players' stance". The Fanatics. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
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