Gale favourite for Man of Steel as shortlist revealed

Castleford half-back Luke Gale is the favourite to win this year’s Steve Prescott Man of Steel award.

Gale, currently sidelined following an operation to remove his appendix, is the 1/4 favourite with Super League sponsors Betfred.

He is on the three-man shortlist for the title, as revealed by the RFL on Friday evening.

Team-mate Zak Hardaker (5/1) and Hull half-back Albert Kelly (8/1) are also in contention.

Gale and Hardaker have been key components of a terrific season for Castleford, which has seen them romp to the League Leaders Shield.

Meanwhile, Kelly has led Hull to the play-offs where they will face Leeds – in a season which they have also won a second successive Challenge Cup.

The current holder is Hull hooker Danny Houghton.

Hardaker has already won the award, back in 2015, while a Castleford player has won it in two of the last six seasons – Rangi Chase in 2011 and Daryl Clark in 2014.

Former Leeds full-back Hardaker could become just the fourth player to win the award for a second time.

Ellery Hanley won it three times in 1985, 1987 and 1989, while Paul Sculthorpe (2001 and 2002) and Andy Farrell (1996 and 2004) have won it twice apiece.

The 2017 Man of Steel will be revealed at a special event in Manchester on Tuesday October 3.

The Young Player of the Year award will be selected from Wigan’s Oliver Gildart and St Helens pair Regan Grace and Morgan Knowles.

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