Minor Premiers the Sharks have dominated this year’s Holden Cup Team of the Year, securing six positions in the team.
Cronulla Coach John Morris was also named Coach of the Year, taking his place in the team alongside Sharks players Sione Katoa, Jesse Ramien, Kyle Flanagan, Briton Nikora, Billy Magoulias and Blayke Brailey.
Of those players Ramien debuted in the NRL last week against the Knights, Flanagan was the competition’s leading point scorer, while Katoa topped the try scoring list.
For Morris and the six it was a reward for what has been an outstanding year to date, with the Sharks finishing seven points clear at the top of the NYC ladder at the end of the 26-round regular season.
“To have six guys named in the team, I’m really proud of them personally but it’s on the back of a strong team performance. It’s a reward for their consistency over the 26 rounds,” Morris said.
Others to be included in the prestigious team today were Kalyn Ponga (North Queensland Cowboys), Philip Sami (Gold Coast Titans) and Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos).
The team was announced at today’s 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series Launch at ANZ Stadium.
The 2017 team joined a previous Holden Cup Team of the Year member, Manly Captain Daly Cherry-Evans, at the launch.
NRL Head of Football Brian Canavan said eight of the 16 Clubs were represented in the 2017 Holden Cup Team of the Year.
“This year’s Team of the Year is once again filled with some exciting talent and I can’t wait to see these players progress,” Mr Canavan said.
This year’s team joins an honour roll that includes some of the NRL’s most talented stars, including Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Valentine Holmes, Kieran Foran, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Ben Matulino, Dane Gagai, Jason Taumololo, Tariq Sims, Gareth Widdop, Ben Hunt, Trent Merrin, David Klemmer, Dylan Napa, Konrad Hurrell, Luke Brooks, Bryce Cartwright, Nick Cotric, Dylan Edwards and Matt Dufty.
The 2017 Holden Cup Team of the Year
Fullback - Kalyn Ponga - North Queensland Cowboys
Wing - Sione Katoa - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Centre - Philip Sami - Gold Coast Titans
Centre - Jesse Ramien - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Wing - Greg Leleisiuao - Parramatta Eels
Five-eighth - AJ Brimson - Gold Coast Titans
Halfback - Kyle Flanagan - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Prop - Patrick Carrigan - Brisbane Broncos
Hooker - Wayde Egan - Penrith Panthers
Prop - Payne Haas - Brisbane Broncos
Second-Row - Briton Nikora - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Second-Row - Jack Murchie - Canberra Raiders
Lock - Billy Magoulias - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Interchange - Victor Radley - Sydney Roosters
Interchange - Blayke Brailey - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Interchange - Reed Izzard - Penrith Panthers
Interchange - Jake Clifford - North Queensland Cowboys
Coach - John Morris - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks