Ahead of the Betfred Super League Awards on Monday 19 September, the three-player shortlist for the prestigious Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel Award has been announced.
This season’s shortlist sees three of the most exciting talents in Super League pitted against each other for the big prize; Brodie Croft (Salford Red Devils), Jai Field (Wigan Warriors) and Jack Welsby (St Helens).
Voting for the Man of Steel Award is carried out each week of the regular season by a panel of former players who award 3, 2 and 1 point to the three best performers in each match.
Here is a run-down of the three nominees;
Brodie Croft – Salford Red Devils
It really was a season of two halves for the Red Devils in 2022. Following an inconsistent start, their second half resurgence saw them claim a play-off spot which, in no small part, was due to the outstanding performances of Croft during their run-in.
Croft appeared in all but one of Salford’s league games this season and his standout performances and leadership in the middle coupled with 25 assists and 7 tries saw him capture the headlines in an unfancied Salford team.
Betfred pre-season price: 25/1
Jai Field – Wigan Warriors
Speedy, electric and captivating are just three of the words used to describe Jai Field’s performances in 2022. He is a player who has regularly proved he can break a defence in a split second and sprint away for a try. A statement confirmed by the fact that Field registered the highest recorded speed of any player this season, clocking a massive 36.1 km/h against Hull KR.
Following an injury plagued season in 2021, Field has burst back into the Warriors team this year and shown us what we missed out on last season. Field’s partnership with Bevan French has been a highlight of the Warriors team this season and has kept fans on the edge of their seats.
Before voting went dark after Round 15, Field was the early season leader in the Man of Steel standings picking up a remarkable six 3-pointers in the opening 10 games.
Field’s 20 tries and 24 assists this season alongside his top speed achievement shows he poses a threat at from anywhere on the field at any point of the game.
Betfred pre-season price: 28/1
Jack Welsby – St Helens
The reigning Young Player of Year and nominee for that award again in 2022, Welsby also gets himself a nomination for Man of Steel.
Welsby’s performances this season certainly outweighed his age. At just 21 Welsby has firmly cemented himself as one of the first names on Kristian Woolf’s team sheet.
Key pieces of individual skill, including assist hat-tricks against both Hull teams and a match winning drop goal against Wakefield Trinity meant Welsby was firmly at the centre of everything happening at St Helens.
An impressive 27 assists, just six behind stat leader Jake Connor, alongside 12 tries saw Welsby have a hand in over a third of all tries scored by Saints in the 2022 season.
Betfred pre-season price: 16/1
The Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel will be announced as part of the Betfred Super League Awards which will be held at Headingley Stadium on Monday 19 September. Fans can watch the Awards live on Super League’s YouTube channel from 9.30pm that night.