Wigan Warriors full-back Sam Tomkins has been named Engage Super League player of the year by the Rugby League Writers’ Association.
The 22-year-old England international, who finished the regular season as leading tryscorer on 26, beat Castleford Tigers stand-off Rangi Chase into second spot.
Michael Monaghan (Warrington Wolves), James Roby (St Helens), Lee Briers (Warrington), Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan) and Scott Dureau (Catalan Dragons) also earned votes in a poll of association members.
“I’m honoured,” said Tomkins. “It’s always nice to pick up awards, although it’s not something you think about all year.
“It’s a team sport and there’s another 16 players in every game doing their bit to make my job a little bit easier. A lot of it is down to the lads.”
Tomkins is the second successive Wigan recipient of the award, which went to winger Pat Richards in 2010.
There was some consolation for Chase, though, after he was presented with the Albert Goldthorpe Medal for 2011 at a ceremony at Huddersfield’s Galpharm Stadium, where Huddersfield Giants winger Jermaine McGillvary received the rookie of the year award.
Chase held off the challenge of Tomkins in a battle that went down to the final games of the regular Super League season.
The New Zealander finished with 40 points out of a possible 81 to land the prize for the ‘best and fairest’ player in Super League.
Chase follows in the footsteps of previous winners Danny Brough (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Michael Dobson (Hull KR) and Pat Richards (Wigan) and Tomkins, the duo who shared the award in 2010.
Martyn Sadler, managing editor of Rugby League Express which organised the award, said: “Rangi has been an inspiration for Castleford this season.”