Kiwi #779 and Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been named the Player of the Year for the second season in a row at the Warriors’ annual awards in Auckland tonight.

The 25-year-old fullback is the inaugural winner of the Simon Mannering Medal, announced tonight to honour the retiring club legend following his 300th NRL appearance in Friday’s win over Canberra.

Tuivasa-Sheck is the fourth player to take out the award more than once following five-time winner and Kiwi #731 Mannering and two-time winners Steve Price and Ben Matulino.

The Kiwi international also had the support of fans, claiming the People’s Choice Award which is voted on by the public, while he remains a front-runner to take out the Dally M Award for the NRL’s player of the year to be named later this month ahead of the grand final.

The recognition comes after Tuivasa-Sheck re-signed with the Warriors for four years just before the season started before going on to play 22 of 24 games, leading the club to their first finals appearance in seven years.

The Warriors capped their regular season campaign and celebrated Mannering’s 300th appearance with a tense 20-16 win over the Raiders at Mt Smart Stadium to give them a 15-9 record, tied for the second best record in the club’s 24-year history.

Along the way, Tuivasa-Sheck has carved out a total of 4058 metres (fourth best in the NRL), averaging 184 metres a game including 1093 post-contact metres. In the round 23 win over Newcastle, Tuivasa-Sheck made 338 metres, while he leads the way in kick return metres (1330) and sits fifth for most tackle breaks (109).

“I want to thank everyone who played a part in choosing this award,” said Tuivasa-Sheck.

“It just comes down to my team. Thank you boys for all of your support.

“It’s been unreal, always coming in every day to training and competing and helping me to become a better player.

“I appreciate it, this one’s for the team.”

The other nominees for the Player of the Year gong were front rower Agnatius Paasi, hooker Issac Luke, bench utility Jazz Tevaga and left wing Ken Maumalo.

Meanwhile, captain James Bell collected the two awards for the Warriors’ Intrust Super Premiership side – as the ISP Team Man of the Year and ISP Player of the Year.

The Warriors NRL Rookie of the Year is second rower Isaiah Papali’i while five-eighth Blake Green claimed the Clubman of the Year award in his first season in Auckland.

Long-time team manager Laurie Hale was named the Club Person of the Year and Jayden Penerate was recognised as the Sir Peter Leitch Member of the Year.

WARRIORS AWARDS 2018

Sir Peter Leitch Member of the Year – Jayden Penerata
People’s Choice Award – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
ISP Team Man of the Year – James Bell
NRL Rookie of the Year – Isaiah Papali’i
Club Person of the Year – Laurie Hale
Clubman of the Year – Blake Green
ISP Player of the Year – James Bell
NRL Player of the Year – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Simon Mannering Medal)

By NZ Herald – David Skipwith

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