Wigan superstar Jai Field has been liked to England captain Sam Tomkins after being chosen as the Player of the Year by the Rugby League Writers and Broadcasters Association.
The Australian full-back polled 61% of the votes of association members to win the Raymond Fletcher Trophy. Salford half-back Brodie Croft was runner-up with 22% of votes.
Field has enjoyed a sensational season with the Warriors, scoring 24 tries in 29 matches. He also helped Wigan lift the Challenge Cup at Tottenham in May.
Jai Field praised for putting in the hard yards
Wigan coach Matt Peet says the electric full-back reminds him of Sam Tomkins when the England captain was in his younger days at Wigan.
“I think all the best teams in rugby league at the moment – on both sides of the world – their full-back is a pivotal player,” Peet explained.
“We said to Jai in pre-season that he was going to get the first crack at that role and his eyes lit up. In pre-season he worked so hard, built his strength and fitness and built his combinations with the team and made a lot of sacrifices.
“Everything we see now is testament to his hard work. He’s very intelligent rugby league-wise, he studies it a lot.
“He reminds me a little bit of Sam Tomkins from when I was in the academy and saw the way Sam conducted himself. Obviously he was a really exciting player, but it was all based on hard work, commitment and being a good bloke and Jai has got facets of that.”
Field is also on the three-man shortlist for Super League’s Steve Prescott Man of Steel award alongside Brodie Croft (Salford) and Jack Welsby (St Helens).