24th September 2018, 16:42 | super_league

Five contenders for Super League Young Player of the Year

Five contenders for Super League Young Player of the Year

HERE ARE THE FIVE PLAYERS THAT WE AT RUGBY- LEAGUE.COM ARE TIPPING TO BE IN THE RUNNING FOR SUPER LEAGUE'S YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR, AT NEXT MONTH'S MAN OF STEEL AWARDS, WHICH TAKE PLACE ON OCTOBER 8TH

Matty Lees – St Helens

A powerhouse of a prop, Matty Lees has seriously impressed for St Helens since being drafted into the pack by Justin Holbrook over the summer.

After breaking in the season on dual-registration at Sheffield Eagles in the Betfred Championship, the injury to Alex Walmsley left Saints short in the front row, and the 20-year-old has featured in almost every game since Magic Weekend.

The huge forward is never afraid of a big hit, and put a classic shot in on Taulima Tautai in the derby back in July.

 

Darnell McIntosh – Huddersfield Giants

Already closing in on 50 senior appearances for the Giants, winger Darnell McIntosh is one of the most ‘experienced’ players on our five-man prediction list.

Key to Huddersfield’s mid-season revival, the 20-year-old bagged 10 tries in seven appearances during the summer months, earning him a nomination in July’s Our League Player of the Month.

With 14 Super League tries to his name this campaign, the former Newsome Panthers junior may have increased his tally even further, had it not been for an injury suffered at the end of August.

 

Mikolaj Oledzki – Leeds Rhinos

A huge presence on the field, 18-stone prop Mikolaj Oledzki has been given his big break this season and has largely impressed in a stuttering Rhinos side.

The 20-year-old, who was born in Gdansk, Poland, showed the kind of power that has got people talking with a mighty run through the Castleford defence to score his first Super League try at Magic Weekend back in May.

He’s made a total of 19 Super League appearances for the Rhinos this season, and recently became a father for the first time.

 

 

Jake Trueman – Castleford

Many people’s favourite to lift the coveted award this year, Castleford’s teenage scrum-half has been a revelation since making his breakthrough in March.

He showed his talent as an 18-year-old, when he scored a hat-trick on his first Super League start away at Wigan Warriors last season.

He got a look-in at full-back early on in the season, but it was when Luke Gale broke his kneecap in April, when Trueman really began to show what he could do in the halves.

With seven tries and 17 assists in Super League this year, it hasn’t taken the former Bradford Bulls youngster long to adapt to life at Rugby League’s top table.

 

Jack Walker – Leeds Rhinos

One of the most exciting prospects Super League has to offer, Jack Walker’s season perhaps hasn’t taken off quite as well as he and Leeds fans would have hoped, with a series of injuries interrupting his run in the team.

The youngest ever player to win a Grand Final ring aged just 18 last October, Walker has largely kept fellow and more experienced full-back Ashton Golding, out of the Rhinos side.

A dangerous asset in attack and useful in defence, could Walker join fellow Leeds youngsters Rob Burrow and Zak Hardaker, in the Young Player of the Year winners list on October 8?

 

NOTE: Players must be aged 20 or younger on the first game of the season (February 1st) to be eligable for the Young Player of the Year Award.

The official confirmed three-man shortlist for Young Player of the Year will be confirmed on Thursday.