Hodgson wins 2009 Man of Steel

Huddersfield full back Brett Hodgson was crowned Man of Steel in a successful night for the Giants at the end of season awards in Manchester.

Hodgson, 31, beat off competition from Warrington’s Adrian Morley and St Helens prop James Graham to win the main award, while Huddersfield’s Nathan Brown was named coach of the year in his debut season.

The former St George-Illawarra coach led the Giants to a Challenge Cup final and to a third place finish in the regular season.

Wigan half-back Sam Tomkins, 20, was crowned young player of the year ahead of St Helens starlet Kyle Eastmond and Warrington-bound Richie Myler, while Robbie Paul and Stanley Gene received special awards to mark the end of their top flight careers.

Paul is off to join Leigh in Championship 1 while Gene has signed for Championship Grand Finalists Halifax.

Huddersfield capped a superb night by winning the club of the year award, receiving special praise for their investment in coaching and talent development over the last 12 months which has seen local players Leroy Cudjoe and Michael Lawrence break into the first team.

Full-back Hodgson, who is only the fourth Australian to win the award since its inception in 1977, said: “Just to be nominated as one of the three players was such a big honour so there was no way I was going to miss such a big occasion.

“I’m over the moon, just so proud. This honour is absolutely huge. It’s just something you don’t dream about at the start of the year.

“I’ll have to pinch myself in the next few days to realise what I’ve achieved.”

It ends a run of four St Helens winners, which included Paul Wellens, who was given a special award to mark his 350th appearance for St Helens

There were also special awards for Warrington’s Lee Briers for his 300th Super League appearance and to Hull captain Lee Radford, who passed the 300 career appearances milestone this summer.

Former St Helens and Hull full-back Steve Prescott, who is battling a rare form of stomach cancer, received a standing ovation after being presented with the Mike Gregory spirit of rugby league award for his fund-raising efforts.

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