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Super League Grand Final’s Harry Sunderland Trophy renamed Rob Burrow Award | Rugby League News


The player of the match award in Super League’s Grand Final will be renamed the Rob Burrow Award, Rugby League Commercial has confirmed.

The award will replace the Harry Sunderland Trophy, which has been presented to the player of the match in the previous 26 Grand Finals since 1998 – having been introduced in 1965, and previously presented to the man of the match in Championship and Premiership Finals.

Burrow, the former Leeds Rhinos, England and Great Britain scrum-half who was awarded a CBE in the King’s New Year’s Honours for services to Motor Neurone Disease Awareness, became the first player to win the Harry Sunderland Trophy as the outstanding performer in two Super League Grand Finals.

He was recognised in 2007 and again in 2011, when he scored one of the most spectacular and iconic tries in Grand Final history in the Rhinos’ 32-16 win against St Helens – and became the first player to win the Harry Sunderland Trophy on a landslide, earning all 37 recorded votes from the attending members of the RLWBA.

Burrow is one of only three players to have won the Harry Sunderland Trophy twice in Grand Finals.

The others are Kevin Sinfield CBE, his former Leeds Rhinos captain and now fellow MND campaigner; and Danny McGuire, his long-term Rhinos half-back partner.

Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield after Leeds Rhinos' Super League Grand Final win in 2011
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Burrow and Kevin Sinfield, fellow MND campaigner, are two of three men to win the Harry Sunderland Trophy twice

Sinfield and McGuire have been invited to present the first Rob Burrow Award at Old Trafford on October 14, in recognition of their shared achievements.

Trevor Hunt, the chair of the Rugby League Writers and Broadcasters Association, who is currently serving as vice president of the Rugby Football League, said:

“After long and serious consideration, we believe the time is now right to introduce a new award for the player of the match in the Super League Grand Final – and I am certain that rugby league players and supporters will agree that the name of Rob Burrow is a fitting one to recognise.

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 07/10/2017 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Grand Final - Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos - Old Trafford, Manchester, England - Leeds' Danny McGuire wins the Harry Sunderland award.
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Danny Maguire has also won the award twice, with he and Sinfield invited to present the first Rob Burrow Award at Old Trafford on October 14

“He has been one of the most popular and successful players in the three decades since the Super League was formed in 1996, and made his own history at Old Trafford as the first man to win the Harry Sunderland Trophy in two Grand Finals – setting a never to be beaten record of winning every single vote for his brilliant performance for Leeds against St Helens in 2011.

Rhodri Jones, the managing director of Rugby League Commercial, said: “It is an honour to introduce the Rob Burrow Award for the outstanding performer in the Super League Grand Final. Rob has transcended Rugby League, both with the skill, speed and courage he showed on the field – most memorably with the Old Trafford performances.

“Today’s announcement is a show of our gratitude to Rob for being the player he was, and a sign of rugby league’s support to him and his family in the battle against MND.”

Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com - 24/09/2022 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Grand Final - St Helens v Leeds Rhinos - Old Trafford, Manchester, England - St Helens' Jonny Lomax celebrates with the Harry Sunderland Man of the Match Trophy
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The Harry Sunderland Trophy – won by Jonny Lomax in 2022 – was first introduced in 1965

RL Commercial has commissioned the new award, which will be unveiled at the start of the 2024 Super League play-offs in September.

The winner of Rob Burrow Award will be determined in the same way as the Harry Sunderland Trophy, through a poll of members of the RLWBA attending the Grand Final.



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