Wests Tigers players Mitchell Moses and James Tedesco have been named as finalists in the 2016 RLPA Players Champion Award, which will be announced on Tuesday, September 13 at the at Marquee at The Star in the RLPA Awards night.
The Players' Champion will celebrate the world's best rugby league player, as voted by the players of the NRL. The awards night, to be hosted by Channel 9's Karl Stefanovic, will also recognise the performances of players, on and off-field, across all areas of the game.
For the first time, a number of the awards will be presented on the 'black carpet' in front of fans, who are invited to attend the event and meet their favourite players in the fan zone, while being entertained by internationally-renowned DJs, the Stafford Brothers.
"We wanted to reimagine our awards ceremony and elevate the event in a way that better reflects the esteem in which players hold these awards," RLPA CEO, Ian Prendergast, said.
"We are excited about delivering a night that our members can enjoy with their peers, as well as providing a live entertainment area for fans, and engaging content to showcase the event.
"The fans play a critically important role in the lives of rugby league players, and this is a great way to include their support in our awards night.
"The Players' Champion is nominated from the players' votes from each game throughout the season, making it a true peer-voted award."
Four-time Players' Champion Johnathan Thurston, says it’s the game's greatest honour.
"In my eyes, the Players' Champion is the highest accolade a player can get, it's such an honour to be voted by your peers as the best in the game," Thurston said.
The Jillaroos and Kiwi Ferns will also be celebrated and presented with awards at the Players' Champion awards night.
The NRL's Wellbeing and Education awards will also form part of the evening, with academic, Indigenous, Pasifika, wellbeing and education awards presented to players who have excelled this year and been positive role models within their local communities.
THE PLAYERS' CHAMPION TOP 20 NOMINATIONS
Greg Bird (Gold Coast Titans)
Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Tyson Frizell (St. George-Illawarra Dragons)
Dane Gagai (Newcastle Knights)
James Graham (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Shaun Johnson (New Zealand Warriors)
Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters)
Joey Leilua (Canberra Raiders)
James Maloney (Cronulla Sharks)
Josh Mansour (Penrith Panthers)
Anthony Milford (Brisbane Broncos)
Mitchell Moses (Wests Tigers)
Matt Moylan (Penrith Panthers)
Semi Radradra (Parramatta Eels)
Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)
James Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)
James Tedesco (Wests Tigers)
Jonathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys)
Tom Trbojevic (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
FULL LIST OF AWARDS
Rookie of the Year
Dennis Tutty Award
Australian Representative Player
New Zealand Representative Player
Rest of the World Representative Player
Australian Elite Women's Player of the Year
New Zealand Elite Women's Player of the Year
NYC Player of the Year
Academic Indigenous Player of the Year
Academic Pasifika Player of the Year
NRL and NYC Academic Team of the Year
RLPA NRL Wellbeing & Education Club of the Year