This is the ultimate individual prize in rugby league and arguably the most sought after internationally, given how strong the NRL competition is compared to other leagues around the world.

Awarded to the man who has been a stand out across the season, this prestigious medal is reserved for those who score points, make runs and leave an incredible impact with each play. It requires consistent output and resilience to last the full 26 rounds of the regular season as well as finals play.

The award is similar to that awarded to top cricket players with the Alan Border Medal or AFL greats with the Brownlow Medal, and although it is newer than each of those prizes, it is held in high regard in recognition of serious talent. The medal is named after Henry Herbert ‘Dally’ Messenger, who was instrumental in the foundation of rugby league in Australia and who is regarded as still being the greatest ever to play the game. It is of as much value to its recipient as it is to the clever punter who knows who’s who in the competition and who can take this award home at the end of the season.

The game’s chief commentators vote on who they perceive to be the strongest players from each match, awarding points for the top three players on paddock for each game over the course of the whole season. At the end of the season, those points are tallied and a winner emerges. In the history of the contest, only one player, Andrew Johns, has won the prize three times. Other notable winners include Peter Stirling, Cliff Lyons, Michael Potter, Gavin Miller and Johnathan Thurston, who have all won the medal twice. Thurston took the medal home in 2015, as well as in 2014 (alongside Jarryd Hayne).

A guide to Dally M Medal betting

Bettors are advised to get behind this bet at the outset of each season. You should take into account the figures of the player from the season beforehand, as well as the strength of each team, which is vital in providing that star player with the best opportunity to take out the medal.

The bet also provides outstanding value at the outset of the season, where players are yet to stake their claim on the medal.