James Tedesco wins NRL players' top gong

Rooster James Tedesco (R) is only the second NRL star to win multiple RLPA Players' Champion awards.
Rooster James Tedesco (R) is only the second NRL star to win multiple RLPA Players' Champion awards.

James Tedesco has capped off his dominant season by becoming just the second NRL star to win multiple Players' Champion awards.

The Sydney Roosters' fullback on Monday night claimed the top gong at the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) awards night, voted the best of 2019 by his peers.

Tedesco has won virtually all before him this season, including the Dally M Medal, State of Origin's Wally Lewis Medal and the Roosters' Jack Gibson Medal.

The only prize to evade his grasp was the Clive Churchill Medal, but that mattered little after he scored the match-winning try in the grand final for the Roosters.

The announcement means Tedesco joins Johnathan Thurston as the only players to have won the RLPA's top award more than once since its inception in 2004, having also claimed the prize in 2017.

"He's won it four times so I've still got a bit of work to do to catch JT," Tedesco said.

"But to be up there with names like JT, it's pretty humbling. It's pretty special.

"Obviously the Dally M is seen as a bit more prestigious, but this probably means a bit more in the cabinet.

"It means a lot by the guys you play against week in week out. That's the ultimate achievement to be seen as the player of the year in their eyes."

Tedesco was a runaway winner ahead of other finalists Cameron Smith, Cameron Munster, Payne Haas and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

His stellar season also included the Origin series-winning try for NSW.

In turn, he was named at fullback in the players' dream team, alongside Roosters teammates Latrell Mitchell and Daniel Tupou.

"James has no doubt had an incredible season," RLPA boss Ian Prendergast said.

"He has won nearly every award possible this year and is now the Players' Champion with his peers acknowledging his extraordinary efforts."

St George Illawarra centre Jessica Sergis also backed up her Dally M Medal by claiming the top female prize.

The 22-year-old starred for the Dragons in their run to the grand final, and was rewarded with the NRLW Players' Champion award.

Brisbane prop Payne Haas backed up his Dally M rookie of the year award with the same prize at the RLPA's award night.

Parramatta's David Gower won the Dennis Tutty award for his selflessness to fellow players.

RLPA AWARD WINNERS:

* NRL Players' Champion: James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)

* NRLW Players' Champion: Jessica Sergis (St George Illawarra)

* Dennis Tutty Award: David Gower (Parramatta)

* Rookie of the Year: Payne Haas (Brisbane)

The Players' 13 Dream Team: James Tedesco, Maika Sivo, Latrell Mitchell, Will Hopoate, Daniel Tupou, Cameron Munster, Daly Cherry-Evans, Payne Haas, Cameron Smith, Josh Papalii, John Bateman, Kenny Bromwich, Jake Trbojevic.

Australian Associated Press