Cessnock hooker Luke Huth and Maitland halfback Brock Lamb have been named joint winners of the Newcastle Rugby League player of the year award.
In front of an estimated 300 people at Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday, the final count was unveiled for 2023 with both players polling 19 points.
Huth picked up five of a maximum six votes in the closing two rounds of the season to rocket up the leaderboard and eventually sit alongside Lamb.
Souths pair Mitch Black and Ryan Glanville, Wyong prop Nathan Kegg-King and Macquarie playmaker Bayden Searle had also been in the mix for the top individual prize.
In other awards handed out at the presentation, Maitland's Matt Lantry (coach) and Entrance pivot Haydan Ritchie (rookie) collected trophies.
Cessnock winger Honeti Tuha and Lamb were officially acknowledged as the competition's leading try and point scorers respectively.
The Newcastle RL team of the year featured: Luke Sharpe (Wyong), Tuha, Brayden Musgrove (Cessnock), Glanville (Souths), Lamb (Maitland), Kegg-King (Wyong), Huth (Cessnock), Nick Glohe (Lakes), Ben Stone (Wests).
Maitland five-eighth Chad O'Donnell received best and fairest in the representative ranks for his hand in Newcastle's victorious NSW Country Championships campaign.
Former NRL coach Garth Brennan was confirmed as new mentor of the Rebels, taking over from Adam Bettridge.
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