With the Steve Prescott Man of Steel nominations announced and the Super League Awards approaching, we take a look at six potential Young Player of the Year contenders.
Brian Carney will host the annual awards, which recognise the best individual contributions over the course of the season in categories such as Young Player of the Year, Coach of the Year and the Spirit of Super League.
The 20-year-old made his first team debut for Wigan in September 2019, having featured for Swinton on loan in the Championship.
He was rewarded with a call-up for England Knights against Jamaica later that year, and was handed the number 28 jersey by Adrian Lam ahead of the 2020 season.
The half-back has had an impressive season, with competition from team-mates Jackson Hastings and Tommy Leuluai, and helped guide his side to the Super League Grand Final after a victory over Hull FC at the DW Stadium.
At just 20 years old, Smithies has had a big impact on Wigan’s first team in his career so far.
Compared with the likes of captain Sean O’Loughlin by former coach Shaun Wane, the talented loose forward has had yet another impressive season for the Warriors, with 14 appearances so far.
The 19-year-old has made 14 Super League appearances for St Helens so far this season, scoring eight tries.
He made his first team debut in 2018 against Hull FC, and has a bright future ahead of him in the sport, with the ability to play in the halves, at full-back, wing or centre.
The Leeds centre was having an impressive season before injury sidelined him in September.
His form saw him called up in Shaun Wane’s England squad this year, having previously represented England Knights.
With injuries across the first team forward pack for Wigan in 2020, it was up to the youngsters to stand up for the DW Stadium side.
Partington burst onto the scene in 2018, and signed a new four-year deal with the club in 2019. Having represented England at youth level in the past, Partington was called up to the England Knights squad for the first time in 2019.
He has made 13 Super League appearances for Wigan in 2020, scoring once.
The former Widnes hooker joined hometown club Warrington in 2019, and has made 14 Super League appearances in 2020.
The 21-year-old is a rising star in the game, and continues to impress with the Halliwell Jones Stadium side.
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