Barnstorming Jesse Bromwich has taken out the major honours at the 2015 NZRL Awards, named Kiwis Player of the Year.
The Melbourne Storm prop has continued a steep upward trajectory over the past two seasons, establishing himself as one of the premier front rowers in rugby league and carrying the national team with him.
In fact, he was named the game’s best prop by Rugby League World, after playing all four tests for the Kiwis over the year, helping them to an historic Anzac Test victory and the #1 world ranking.
“Jesse has elevated himself to one of the premier forwards in our game,” says Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney, who nominated Bromwich.
“His performances at club and international level over the past 20 months have seen him recognised as such. His contribution to the Kiwis team and its development through his input as part of the team’s leadership group has been an integral part of the team’s success.”
In claiming the Steve Watene Medal, Bromwich headed off a quality field that included Melbourne clubmate Tohu Harris and record-breaking Sydney Roosters fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, now with the NZ Warriors.
“Being a kid from Manurewa, I never thought I’d be standing up here, so it’s unreal,” Bromwich told guests at the awards function in Auckland. “It’s unreal, and an honour for me and my family.”
Australian RL Commission chairman John Grant was on hand to announce Brisbane Broncos utility Jordan Kahu as Kiwis Rookie of the Year, while fellow international newcomer Tuimoala Lolohea (Warriors) took out the Junior Player of the Year.
Counties Manukau forward Teuila Fotu-Moala, who starred for the Kiwi Ferns at the Anzac Test in May, was named Women’s Player of the Year.
The full list of 2015 NZRL Award winners is:
Female Volunteer of the Year
Leanne Anderson (Southern)
Male Volunteer of the Year
Simon Itula (Wellington)
Grassroots Club of the Year
Glenfield RL (Akarana)
Domestic Coach of the Year
Grant Pocklington (Akarana)
Match Official of the Year
Adam Burns (Southern)
16s Player of the Year
Josh Uta (Counties Manukau)
18s Player of the Year
Ata Hingano (NZ Warriors)
Premier Player of the Year
Raymond Talimalie (Counties Manukau)
Junior Player of the Year
Tuimoala Lolohea (NZ Warriors)
Women’s Player of the Year
Teuila Fotu-Moala (Counties Manukau)
Kiwis Rookie of the Year
Jordan Kahu (Brisbane Broncos)
Kiwis Player of the Year
Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm)