Sam Tomkins named Man of Steel for second time in his career

Sam Tomkins in action for Catalans

Sam Tomkins was named Steve Prescott Man of Steel in 2021

The 32-year-old England captain won the Rugby League Writers and Broadcasters Association’s Player of the Year award last week. He fought off competition from Jordan Abdull (Hull KR), Jake Connor (Hull), Jonny Lomax (St Helens) and Gareth Widdop (Warrington) to win the prestigious award for the second time.

In a double for the French club, Steve McNamara was voted coach of the year.

Tomkins first won the big prize 2012 during his time at Wigan. He said: “It’s obviously a huge honour to receive the Man of Steel award.

“It always comes off the back of some great team performances. I feel lucky to be playing in a great team at Catalans.

“It was a long time ago when I won it for the first time. Somebody sent me some pictures from the time and I was just a young kid enjoying playing rugby.

“I’m a very different person at a different stage in life now. I’m married with four children and I’d say it means a little bit more to me as I know I’ve not got another 10 years of playing the game.

“I’ve changed as you do with age. I’ve slowed down but I’ve become smarter and I know now I’m a leader with more responsibility to help bring through the younger players.”

Sam Tomkins in action for Catalans
Sam Tomkins has been in fine form for Catalans this season

Sam Tomkins earns praise from legend Ellery Hanley

Man of Steel chairman Ellery Hanley said: “Sometimes in your life you have to tip your hat and give full praise and credit to an individual.

“Sam Tomkins has been head and shoulders above everyone in the Steve Prescott Man of Steel points this season.

“Watching his performances this season, he has established himself not only as a marvellous rugby league player, but a fabulous leader of men.

READ: Joel Tomkins confident brother Sam will play in Grand Final

“He has illustrated all season the values and qualities you want all your players to demonstrate in every game they participate in.

“Look deeper into Sam’s game and you will see what he has done to the rest of his team, individually and collectively, in bringing the best out of the Catalans Dragons squad.

“Sam has had a brilliant, majestic and a wonderful season in all facets of the game.”

The Man of Steel was the highlight of the annual Betfred Super League awards night. St Helens captain Jodie Cunningham was named Woman of Steel and St Helens utility Jack Welsby was named Young Player of the Year.

The Top Tackler award went to Wigan forward Joe Shorrocks. Salford winger Ken Sio won the Top Try Scorer prize. The Spirit of Super League award went to charity fundraiser Kevin Sinfield.