Wests Tigers prop Stefano Utoikamanu has capped off a superb rookie season by taking out the club’s 2021 Rookie of the Year Award.
Playing in his first full NRL season, Utoikamanu featured in 21 games across the year, scoring six tries and averaging close to 100 metres a game.
The young prop also recorded 35 tackle breaks, four line-breaks and 18 offloads, as well as making 579 tackles (avg. 27.6) with an efficiency rate of 94.2 percent.
Starting the year from the interchange bench, Utoikamanu was promoted to the starting side after a number of strong performances and the youngster continued to improve as the season progressed.
Utoikamanu was rewarded with a spot in Brad Fittler's NSW Origin squad for Game Three, and although he wasn't named in the final line-up, being around the game's elite players was a valuable opportunity for the youngster.
The 21-year-old took out the award ahead of fellow youngsters Daine Laurie and Jake Simpkin, who were also recognised for their strong rookie seasons.
Wests Tigers would like to congratulate Stefano on his award and superb rookie season!
WESTS TIGERS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
2006 — Shannon McDonnell
2007 — Chris Lawrence
2008 — Tim Moltzen
2009 — Blake Ayshford
2010 — Simon Dwyer
2011 — Aaron Woods
2012 — Marika Koroibete and Curtis Sironen
2013 — James Tedesco
2014 — Luke Brooks
2015 — Kyle Lovett
2016 — Josh Aloiai
2017 — Jacob Liddle
2018 — Esan Marsters
2019 — Thomas Mikaele
2020 — Harry Grant
2021 — Stefano Utoikamanu