New Ipswich Jets captain Nathaniel Neale is setting the early pace in the race for the prestigious Courier Mail Medal.
The former Souths Sydney Rabbitohs forward has polled nine points from the opening five rounds of the Intrust Super Cup to lead a star-studded field.
Neale has taken his game to a new level this year after assuming the club captaincy, with his strong runs and skilful ball-play a feature of Ipswich’s promising start to the season.
He scored the match-winning try against the Northern Pride last Saturday when he carried several defenders across the line for his third try in five games this year.
Neale’s impressive start to the season will ensure he is in the selection mix to retain his Queensland Residents jersey for this year’s annual representative clash against NSW.
The Pride’s Jake Clifford is another player in the running for representative honours after an outstanding start to 2018.
Clifford, the 2017 Holden Cup player of the year following an outstanding season with the Cowboys U20s, has polled seven Courier Mail Medal points.
Hot on his heels are Falcons players Harry Grant and Chris Lewis, as well as Devils pair Michael Sio and Sam Tagataese.
Courier Mail Medal
Leaderboard after Round 5
9 Nathaniel Neale (Ipswich Jets)
7 Jake Clifford (Northern Pride)
6 Harry Grant (Sunshine Coast Falcons)
6 Chris Lewis (Sunshine Coast Falcons)
6 Michael Sio (Norths Devils)
6 Sam Tagataese (Norths Devils)