It was a season to remember for Leeds and for Castleford’s Luke Gale, while Wakefield bucked the big-spending trend and Toronto Wolfpack showed a glimpse of the future
Had these awards been published a fortnight ago, it could have been so easy to go for Zak Hardaker. The 25-year-old had looked throughout 2017 like a player – and, more important, a person – who had finally rid himself of the off-field indiscretions that plagued the early years of his career. We may now not see him on a rugby field again for some time. That, however, should not overshadow the outstanding form of our first winner: Hardaker’s Castleford team-mate Luke Gale.