The NRL is one of Australia’s premier sporting leagues and is home to the world’s top level of rugby league competition. Each year 16 teams, including one from New Zealand, battle it out for the Telstra Premiership and the NRL Trophy. While the trophy and title of the premiership belong to the season’s greatest team, the Dally M Medal is offered to the player which has performed the best through the year. Akin to cricket’s Alan Border Medal and the AFL’s Brownlow Medal, the Dally M Medal is awarded each year to the “best and fairest” in the NRL competition for that year.

First awarded in 1980, the medal was named after Henry Herbert ‘Dally’ Messenger. Messenger was instrumental to the foundation of rugby league in Australia and is thought of as one of the greatest to ever play the game. Although he passed away in 1959, his legacy still lives on through the annual presentation of the Dally M Medal.

The medal is decided over the course of the whole NRL season. The most valuable players of each match are voted on by the game’s commentators, with 1 to 3 points being awarded for the top 3 players in the match. This tally is then used to determine the winner of the medal at the end of the season. In the history of the Dally M Medal, only Andrew Johns has managed to win the prize on three separate occasion. Peter Stirling, Cliff Lyons, Michael Potter, Gavin Miller and Johnathan Thurston have all won the medal twice.