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Warriors trio voted by peers as NRL's best in 2023

Luke Kirkness,
Publish Date
Wed, 20 Sep 2023, 4:02pm

Warriors trio voted by peers as NRL's best in 2023

Luke Kirkness,
Publish Date
Wed, 20 Sep 2023, 4:02pm

NRL players believe Shaun Johnson, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Addin Fonua-Blake are the best in their position, with the Warriors trio named in the 2023 Players’ Dream Team.

They were voted for halfback, wing and prop respectively - the first time either had been voted by their peers and selected in a Players’ Dream Team.

The team were represented by five clubs, with the Broncos featuring the most players (four), followed by the Warriors and Panthers (three), Storm (two), and the Sea Eagles (one).

Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster joins James Tedesco with the most appearances in the team, with the pair having been voted as the best players in their respective positions four times. Munster was also voted into the Dream Team by his peers in 2018, 2019, and 2022.

Broncos prop and former Warriors trial player Payne Haas joins Nathan Cleary and Cameron Smith on three appearances with his selection in 2023. Haas also becomes the first middle forward to be selected for the Dream Team three times.

Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) chief executive Clint Newton congratulated the players who were recognised by their peers as “the best in the 2023 season”.

“This prestigious honour of being voted by your fellow players signifies each of the 13′s exceptional skill, determination and commitment to their teams, fans and individual high-performance standards through 2023,” Newton said.

“We are immensely proud of our players’ achievements on and off the field. The players have consistently displayed remarkable talent and sportsmanship, and their selection to the Players’ Dream Team is a testament to their efforts and weekly contributions.

 “The Players’ Awards symbolise the convergence of fierce rivalries tempered by mutual respect. While players engage in intense battles on the field, they share a profound and authentic admiration for one another. They recognise, as do we, that rugby league is the most demanding sport on the planet, a reality they confront every single day. Given the exceptional talent playing in the NRL, the task of selecting the top 13 players was undoubtedly a tough one for the players.

“The RLPA congratulates all 13 players who have been voted to the Dream Team by their fellow players. It stands as a tribute to receive such recognition from one’s peers and to be designated as the premier player in their respective NRL positions for that season.”

RLPA Players’ Dream Team voting rules

  • Players are eligible for selection in a position they primarily played for the relevant season. This means a player cannot be eligible for selection in more than one position.
  • Each player will be able to nominate a maximum of one player per position, out of the list of eligible players, however, are not able to vote for players on their current team.
  • The player with the highest point total for each individual position will be selected in the Dream Team.
  • Voting is open to all contracted NRL players.

Luke Kirkness is an Online Sports Editor for the NZ Herald. He previously covered consumer affairs for the Herald and was an assistant news director in the Bay of Plenty. He won Student Journalist of the Year in 2019.


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