The 2020 NRL season kicks off this Thursday and we’ve casted ahead and named five contenders for the Dally M Medal.
Sydney Roosters fullback James Tedesco took home the game’s most coveted induvial award last year for the first time after polling 34 votes, edging out Cameron Smith (31) and Mitchell Moses (29).
So who are the frontrunners for the Dally M in 2020? Here are five names that we like!
Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)
The 36-year old is entering his 19th NRL season but can still mix it with the best of them. Despite only having one Dally M crown to his name, Smith is sure to be up there again, coming off his second-place finish last year. The Storm get widely tipped to drop off every season but consistently advance far into the finals – finishing top two in each of the last three seasons. And it would be silly to write them off this year.
The 411-gamer even recently revealed that he is considering playing on in 2021.
“I’m loving footy at the moment and while I’m doing that there is no thought of retirement,” Smith told Fox Sports.
“But things change and for me there will be a point throughout the year where I have the feeling of whether I am playing next year or not.
“The best thing about it is Craig’s (Bellamy) door is always open. I’ve had open discussions with him about my form and my position in the team, the role that I play and whether that is still relevant week to week. Whether it has changed or if he wants me to do something different.
James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)
Last year’s Dally M winner will push for his second-straight honour despite many pundits predicting that the Tricolours will drop off this season. Tedesco is arguably the best fullback in the game and one of the elite scorers. He is set to play a key role in the Roosters’ quest for a three-peat and in line for another huge season with some pundits already lining up their betting odds on Tedesco to play a major role in their success.
As well as receiving the Dally M last season, Tedesco also won the Wally Lewis Medal as the best player in New South Wales’ State of Origin win over Queensland.
Tom Trbojevic (Manly Sea Eagles)
The 23-year old Turbo Tom has fast established himself as one of the elite players in the game that is capable of scoring points from anywhere on the field. If the Sea Eagles are to climb into the top four in 2020, Tom Trbojevic will need to put together a Dally M-calibre campaign.
The star forward has finally recovered from a left pectoral injury that ended his 2019 campaign and is rearing to go. Having locked away his future at Manly until 2026, expect big things from Tom Trbojevic in 2020.
Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm)
It would be rude to not talk up the Storm’s other big star – Cameron Munster. The gun five-eighth was huge for Craig Bellamy’s side last season and led the Dally M count for a large part of the season
The winner of Dally M five-eighth of the year each of the last two years, Munster will look to join Terry Lmab as the only player to claim the award three years in a row. And adding a Dally M to his trophy cabinet would be nice.
Mitchell Moses (Parramatta Eels)
Don’t sleep on Mitch Moses. If he steps his game up another level in 2020 and continues to win games off his own boot, the playmaker will be a prominent votegetter and hard to look past. He looms as a dark horse in the Dally M race and it could largely hinge on how the Eels perform in 2020.
If the Eels are a top four team this season, expect Moses to be right up there in the Dally M race.