Last year, the most coveted individual award in the National Rugby League was shared among two players: Melbourne’s Cooper Cronk and North Queensland’s Jason Taumalolo. It was only the second time the Dally M medal (Player of the Year award) was shared.
This year, there’s a lot of names floating in the mix. The old guard is still strong among the favorites, but there are also a bunch of rising stars within the sport that could give them a run for their money. And then, there’s the return of the infamous Jarryd Hayne.
So who will win the 2017 Dally M Medal? Here are the odds!
Odds to Win the 2017 Dally M Medal:
Johnathan Thurston: 13/2
The four-time Dally M medalist starts 2017 as the favorite once again. If he isn’t already, Thurston is on his way to becoming the most decorated NRL player of all time. He’s won two NRL Grand Finals, and has led both club and country to win the World Cup.
He narrowly lost out to Cronk and teammate Taumalolo last year, but won back-to-back medals in 2014 and 2015.
Cooper Cronk: 17/2
Cooper Cronk is a two-time Dally M Medalist and five-time Halfback of the Year. Though he’s considered one of the best in the league, Cronk has played most of his career in the shadow of Thurston. Earlier in his career, most of his chances to represent Australia internationally only came when he was chosen to replace an injured Thurston.
But Cronk has come a long way since then and another Dally M medal would seal his spot in NRL history.
Matt Moylan: 11/1
The young Matt Moylan had a breakthrough year in 2016, making both his international and State of Origin debut. The 25-year-old has a bright future ahead of him and at the rate he’s improving, he’s already a top contender for the Dally M medal.
Anthony Milford: 13/1
The even younger Anthony Milford is also a prospect for the Dally M medal. While the 22-year-old has only played three seasons in the NRL, he’s already made a name for himself. Milford would have made his State of Origin debut in 2016 if he hadn’t been suspended for missing curfew and was extremely unlucky to miss out on a Grand Final victory with the Brisbane Broncos.
Jarryd Hayne: 25/1
The infamous Jarryd Hayne will be back in 2017 after an interesting debut in the NFL and a brief misadventure in international Rugby 7s. The two-time Dally M medalist left the sport at the height of his career and returned at the end of last year after signing with the Gold Coast Titans. He only played six games and didn’t manage to score any tries or goals. If he’s able to shake off the rust and get back to his previous form this year, he’ll have a great shot at winning his third medal.
Photo credit: “Jarryd Hayne” by NAPARAZZI CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr.