Sam Tomkins
Sam Tomkins has enjoyed a superb 2021 with Catalans Dragons

Catalans Dragons full-back Sam Tomkins has won the 2021 Steve Prescott Man of Steel award.

Super League’s annual award is decided by points accrued on a round-by-round basis across the season.

Tomkins joins Paul Sculthorpe and Andy Farrell in winning the award twice, having claimed it in 2012 during his first spell with Wigan Warriors.

The 32-year-old will look to cap a fine season with victory in Saturday’s Grand Final against St Helens.

“It is a huge honour to receive the Man of Steel award. It comes off the back of some great team performances and I feel lucky to be playing in a great team at Catalans,” Tomkins said.

He added: “It was a long time ago when I won it for the first time. Someone showed me some pictures from the time, I was just a young kid enjoying playing rugby.

“I’m at a very different stage of my life now. It means a little bit more to me as I know I’ve not got another 10 years of playing the sport.”

St Helens and England star Jodie Cunningham was named Woman of Steel.

Her Saints side have not lost a match all season and victory over Leeds Rhinos on Sunday would give them a treble of the Challenge Cup, League Leaders’ Shield and Grand Final this year.

Sinfield honoured for fundraising

Among the other winners were Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield, who won the Loch Lomond Spirit of Super League Award.

Sinfield ran seven marathons in seven days in December 2020 and raised £2.2m in support of former team-mate Rob Burrow, who is living with Motor Neurone Disease.

His efforts saw him awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for fundraising and services to rugby league.

He ended his long association with the Rhinos earlier this year to take up a coaching position with Premiership side Leicester Tigers.

‘Tomkins a fabulous leader of men’

England back Tomkins had been shortlisted for the award alongside Hull FC’s Jake Connor, St Helens’ Jonny Lomax, Warrington’s Gareth Widdop and Hull KR’s Jordan Abdull.

He assisted 20 tries and scored 10 himself as French side Catalans finished top of the table in the regular season to win the League Leaders’ Shield for the first time.

He was also named the Rugby League Writers and Broadcasters Association player of the year last month.

Ellery Hanley, who is the only person to be named Man of Steel three times, said Tomkins was a worthy winner of the prize.

“Sometimes in your life you have to tip your hat and give full praise and credit to an individual,” the Steve Prescott Man of Steel chairman said.

“Watching his performances this season, he has established himself not only as a marvellous rugby league player, but a fabulous leader of men.

“He has illustrated all season the values and qualities you want all your players to demonstrate in every game they participate in.”

Catalans coach Steve McNamara has been named coach of the year as the Perpignan side look to claim a first Grand Final win.

Full list of awards:

  • Top tackler – Joe Shorrocks (Wigan Warriors)
  • Top try Scorer – Ken Sio (Salford Red Devils)
  • The Loch Lomond Spirit of Super League Award – Kevin Sinfield OBE
  • Young player of the Year – Jack Welsby (St Helens)
  • Coach of the Year – Steve McNamara (Catalans Dragons)
  • Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel – Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons)
  • Woman of Steel – Jodie Cunningham (St Helens)

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