Leigh Leopards five Dream Team stars shunned from Man of Steel shortlist

The Steve Prescott Man of Steel shortlist has been announced featuring Wigan Warriors Bevan French, Catalans Dragons Tom Johnstone and St Helens’ Jack Welsby.

The three man shortlist was confirmed by the RFL and features both the top try scorer in Super League (Tom Johnstone) and the assist leader (Bevan French.

Meanwhile Welbsy makes the shortlist having won Young Player of the Year the past two seasons and now aged 22 he is a nominee for the best player in the competition.

The RFL statement confirming the trio’s nomination read as follows: “Bevan French, whose consistent brilliance has been a key factor in Wigan Warriors’ success in winning the League Leaders Shield; Tom Johnstone, the powerful wing who has been the joint leading try-scorer in the Betfred Super League with 27 after joining Catalans Dragons from Wakefield Trinity last winter; Jack Welsby of St Helens, who has been Super League’s Young Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons and has excelled at full-back throughout the 2023 campaign.

They added: “For the last five seasons, the winner has been determined by points awarded to the outstanding players in every Betfred Super League fixture by a panel of former players chaired by Ellery Hanley MBE.”

The winner will be revealed next Tuesday (10th of October) at the RFL awards night at Old Trafford.

Whilst the shortlist can only comprise of three players it does mean that not a single Leigh Leopards player has been nominated, in spite of the fact that Adrian Lam’s side dominated the Super League Dream Team with five players.

Winger Josh Charnley was selected alongside Johnstone for his tally of 26 tries in the regular season, whilst he also added one against Hull KR to tie Johnstone’s league leading tally of 27.

The four new Dream Team members from the Leopards were hooker Edwin Ipape, prop Tom Amone, loose forward John Asiata and half-back Lachlan Lam.

Many had touted Lam or Asiata to be in with a serious shout at lifting the Man of Steel trophy whilst Ipape incredibly led the pre-season betting as 8/1 favourite.

For the Leopards to have had such an incredible season it’s a surprise that not one player is nominated but such is the quality of Super League that only a handful of stars can be selected.