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Cowboys second rower Jeremiah Nanai has capped off a superb season by taking out the 2022 Dally M NRL Rookie of the Year Award.

Playing in his first full NRL season after featuring in four games for North Queensland in 2021, Nanai played a total of 23 games for Todd Payten’s side this year and quickly established himself as one of the most potent edge forwards in the competition.

The teenage forward scored a stunning 17 tries in 23 games for the Cowboys this year, ranking him above every other forward in the competition and third only behind wingers Alex Johnston and Corey Oates in the race for the Ken Irvine Medal.

Averaging over 30 tackles and just shy of 100 metres per game, Nanai continued to improve as the season went on and will head into 2023 as one of the players to watch after also earning a representative call-up to the Maroons State of Origin side.

Bulldogs winger Jacob Kiraz, Rabbitohs halfback Lachlan Ilias and Panthers winger Taylan May were the other finalists in this year’s Dally M NRL Rookie of the Year Award.

Nanai is the first Cowboys player in history to have won the Rookie of the Year Award.

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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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