SUPER League's high achievers, not only in 2020 but over the lengths of careers, have been recognised at tonight's Steve Prescott Man of Steel Awards event.

From the leading try scorer and top tackler, to those servants of the game who have become household names in the toughest of circumstances, the unprecedented 2020 season is drawing to a conclusion in traditional style - with tonight's end-of-season ceremony to be followed by the Grand Final on Friday.

Awards:

This Is Lancashire:

Paul McShane, right, chosen by Ellery Hanley as the 2020 Man of Steel. Picture: SWpix.com

 

More on tonight's winners:

Ends of career:

Reaction to follow:

Official press release:

Castleford Tigers’ hooker Paul McShane is the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel for 2020. 

He beat fellow contenders Aidan Sezer (Huddersfield Giants), Liam Farrell and Bevan French (both Wigan Warriors) and Saints’ Lachlan Coote to the highest individual accolade in the game.

Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel Chairman Ellery Hanley MBE said: “The award deservedly goes to Paul McShane because he performs in every game he plays in. 

“He is ‘Mr Dependable’ and everyone holds him in the highest regard.

“As a player, he consistently displays bravery, skill and athleticism.

“This is a man who wears his badge of honour in every action he delivers on the rugby league field.

“The phrase ‘actions speak louder than words’ fits Paul McShane perfectly.

“You only have to be in his company for three minutes to discover what a gentleman and first-class human being he is. 

“We are so lucky to have him in our game.”

The full list of awards for the 2020 Betfred Super League season are as follows: 

Top Tackler – Michael Lawrence (Huddersfield Giants) 

Top Try Scorer – Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos)

Spirit of Super League Award – Rob Burrow and Mose Masoe 

(Awarded to those who make a significant contribution to the sport beyond the field of play.)

Young Player of the Year – Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos)

Coach of the Year – Adrian Lam (Wigan Warriors)

Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel – Paul McShane (Castleford Tigers)

Clarification on judging process for the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel 2020:

A number of changes had to be made to the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel judging process over the course of the season, given the disruption to the 2020 campaign caused by Covid-19.

There were advantages and disadvantages to selecting the winner based on either points accumulated, or on a points-per-game average, as was introduced in October.

Total points accumulated clearly favoured those whose team had completed more fixtures throughout 2020, while a points-per-game average format could favour those whose team had played fewer games.

Furthermore, without completing the full 22 rounds of the regular season, there were further inconsistencies regarding opposition. 

For example, if a player played against teams in the bottom half of the table twice, but only once against teams in the top four then there is perceived advantage.

It is for these reasons that the Man of Steel contenders, who were the same five players on the leaderboard in both scenarios (total points and points-per-game), went to a final review by Man of Steel Panel Chairman, Ellery Hanley MBE.

The top five contenders were: Aidan Sezer, Paul McShane, Liam Farrell, Lachlan Coote and Bevan French.

For the Chairman to make a fair and informed decision on who should become the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel winner for 2020, their individual player statistics throughout the season were included in the report provided to Ellery Hanley.