Bateman joint favourite for Man of Steel

John Bateman playing for Wigan against Huddersfield in Super League.

John Bateman and Chris Hill head the Steve Prescott Man of Steel betting at 12/1 for the coming season with Super League sponsors Betfred.

Bateman missed a large portion of last season after been suspended by the club for an off-the-field alternation with club teammate Lee Mossop (who has now joined Salford). Bateman returned from his suspension to help his club win their fourth Grand Final and but for his ban, he would have been a strong contender for the award last year.

Hill is one of the most consistent performers in the competition, he may though miss the first few weeks of the season after having a hernia operation after last year’s Four Nations. This will end a remarkable run of 83 consecutive games for the Wolves, particularly for a prop. He was named in last year’s dream team, for the third time, and in 2014 was in the shortlist of four for the award but was pipped by Daryl Clark.

Clark himself is next in the betting at 16/1, alongside 2015 Young Player of the Year George Williams, after the former Cas man had a much more consistent second season with Warrington. Only three people – Ellery Hanley,  Paul Sculthorpe and Andy Farrell – have won the award more than once so Clark would be joining an exclusive list.

I’d prefer Williams at this early stage though, he was the stand-out performer in Cherry and White last year and his improvement shows no signs of stopping.

There are seven players at 20/1, including new Warrington signing Kevin Brown and Cas playmaker Luke Gale, it will be interesting to see how Brown goes at the Wolves after his controversial switch from local rivals Widnes.

2016 Steve Prescott Man of Steel Danny Houghton is 25/1 to win the award for the second time in a row in a list that includes his clubmate Marc Sneyd.

From the outsiders I also like the look of 2015 winner Zak Hardaker at 40/1. He’ll benefit from the exciting Rugby played at Castleford and two Tigers have won the award in the last six years. Adam Cuthbertson was in the final three in 2015 and he also looks big at triple figure odds.

It’s a wide open market but my two against the field would be Williams and Hardaker.

Click here to go to the Betfred website to view all their Rugby League prices.

Latest Odds (others available on request):

​Bateman, John            12/1
Hill, Chris                     12/1
Clark, Daryl                  16/1
Williams, George        16/1
Lomax, Jonny           20/1
Gidley, Kurt                 20/1
Gale, Luke                    20/1
Currie, Ben                  20/1
Segeyaro, James           20/1
Ratchford, Stefan        20/1
Brown, Kevin                20/1
Leuluai, Thomas          25/1
Roby, James                25/1
Smith, Matty               25/1
Sneyd, Marc               25/1
Houghton, Danny       25/1
Burgess, Joe              25/1
Kelly, Albert                 28/1
Bird, Greg                  33/1
McIlorum, Michael      33/1
O’Loughlin, Sean       33/1
Tomkins, Sam            33/1
Walmsley, Alex          33/1
Walsh, Luke              33/1