The Dally M Medal is the biggest individual honour that can be won in the NRL. The award goes to the player voted as the 'Player of the Year' throughout the whole season. Here, Dave Kuzio goes over the top 10 contenders who will be battling it out to landed the coveted Dally M Medal.
READ MORE: Get our free outright NRL tips for 2020.
The prestigious Dally M Medal is the one all the players in the NRL want to win. It is awarded to the player deemed to have made the most impact on the field during each season.
The award is named after league legend Herbert Henry ‘Dally’ Messenger. Dally M played both codes of rugby and was dubbed the greatest player to ever play both rugby league and union.
The winner of the Dally M Medal is selected by a panel of experts who vote for players on a weekly basis. The player with the most votes is awarded the Medal. The votes are made public knowledge until Round 16 then they are kept secret until the awards ceremony at the end of the season.
The first winner of the Dally M Medal was St George Dragons half-back Steve Morris in 1979. Jonathan Thurston is the only player to win the medal on four separate occasions, while Andrew Johns has won it three times.
In the history of the Dally M Medal, there has been two occasions where the award has been shared. Jarryd Hayne and Thurston shared the accolade in 2014, while Cooper Cronk and Jason Taumalolo did the same in 2016.
Sydney Roosters full-back James Tedesco is the current winner after being awarded it for his performances as the Chooks made it back-to-back NRL Grand Final wins.
Who will win the Dally M Medal in 2020? We highlight the 10 main contenders looking to join an illustrious list of rugby league legends.
Cameron Smith @ 8/1
It’s quite amazing to think that former Australia and Queensland captain Cameron Smith has only ever won the Dally M Medal once in his career. He won it back in 2006. The Melbourne Storm legend very rarely has a bad game, so that’s why it is surprising he hasn’t won it on multiple occasions. The 56 Test veteran is coming to the end of his career, but he is still capable of matching the youngsters vying to knock him off his perch. If the Storm go well, you can bet this guy is behind it.
James Tedesco @ 8/1
James Tedesco is arguably the best full-back in the world at the moment. The New South Wales and Australia star is lightning quick and is capable of scoring tries from anywhere on the paddock. It is not a fluke that he is the holder of the Dally M Medal. He will be in the running for this one again, there is no danger about that.
Tom Trbojevic @ 10/1
What a talent Turbo Tom is. The 23-year-old utility back is another player that will get you points from anywhere on the field. He has represented the Kangaroos on four occasions and if he stays fit then he will be a shoe-in for a place on the tour to England at the end of the season. Manly will need to at least finish in the top four for any of their players to be in the hunt for a Dally M Medal success.
Cameron Munster @ 12/1
We’ve already mentioned that Cameron Smith is the guy that makes Melbourne Storm tick. Well if you include Munster into the mix, then you have a team capable of not only finishing top of the competition, but they could win the Grand Final as well.
Luke Keary @ 16/1
Luke Keary might not get all the plaudits the same as say Smith, Tedesco or Munster. But he would be a very popular winner of the Dally M Medal. The 27-year-old has only played twice for his country, but if he ends this season with another Grand Final win then he could also be making the Ashes tour. Keary is a very clever half-back and when the chips are down, he can be your go to man to get you out of trouble.
Daly Cherry-Evans @ 14/1
If Daly Cherry-Evans is going to win the Dally M Medal, then Manly need to be killing the competition. DCE hit a bit of a wall a couple of seasons ago, but he has started to hit top form and that can only be good for the Sea Eagles and Queensland in 2020. A great outside bet, but Manly need to be performing.
Mitchell Moses @ 20/1
Mitchell Moses can win a game on his own it’s as simple as that. Playing for Parramatta he might have to do that on numerous occasions. The one thing preventing Moses from winning this medal is the fact he plays for the Eels. We cannot see them breaking into the top four, in fact it might be a push for them to make the eight. This is a risky bet, but stranger things have happened.
Josh Hodgson @ 20/1
Josh Hodgson is the only Englishman to make the top 10 favourites. At 20/1 he has a good chance. Hodgson left England to join Canberra Raiders in 2015 with many Super League scratching their heads why he would be wanted in the NRL. He has since proved everyone wrong and has been a consistent performer in the NRL for the last few years. If the Green Machine are challenging again, then it will because of this guy’s performances. No one can steal a ball in a one-on-one tackle like Josh Hodgson.
Jack Wighton @ 22/1
Another Canberra Raider makes the list and rightly so. Jack Wighton seems to be getting better and better. He was instrumental in the Raiders reaching the Grand Final in 2019. If he can quickly strike up a good partnership with new signing George Williams, then Wighton will be one of the players of the season.
John Bateman @ 33/1
We mentioned that this would be the top 10 favourites for the Dally M Medal, but we have already backed John Bateman to win this award in our NRL outright tips piece so we couldn’t really leave him out. The hard-tackling, no nonsense forward from Bradford, England won many admirers in his first season in the NRL. The Dally M second rower of the year in 2019 will only get better, as long as he stays fit then he will be the catalyst to what the Green Machine can achieve.