Prop Payne Haas has won a historic fifth-consecutive Paul Morgan Medal as Brisbane Broncos’ NRL Player of the Year, while workaholic lock Mariah Denman has been crowned NRLW Player of the Year for 2023.
At just 23 years of age, Haas joins the great Allan Langer as the only other Bronco to win the award five times. He becomes the only player in the club’s history to win the award five years in a row, surpassing Langer who won the award four time straight from 1993-96 as well as 1988.
Haas polled 80 votes from coaches and players across the season, to finish ahead of Adam Reynolds (64), Reece Walsh (51), Pat Carrigan (35), Ezra Mam (30), Kotoni Staggs (27), Billy Walters (25), Thomas Flegler (22) and Selwyn Cobbo (21).
Haas played 23 games in 2023, averaging 187 running metres (72 metres post contact) from 16 hit ups per game as well as 29 tackles at 99 per cent efficiency. He also racked up 113 tackle busts and 50 offloads across the season, which also saw him collect another three awards at tonight’s Presentation Dinner at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Haas was also awarded the Kevin Walters Award for Most Consistent Player, Shane Webcke Award for Best Forward and Gary Balkin Award for Players’ Player on an incredible evening for the big front rower who recently signed a contract extension with the Broncos to the end of the 2026 season.
For Brisbane’s NRLW team, Broncos “Original” Mariah Denman was a much-deserved winner of the Player of the Year award as she returned to the club this season after taking some seasons away with the birth of her child.
The much-loved lock forward collected 25 points to finish just ahead of Captain Ali Brigginshaw and frontrower Neta Nu’uausala (both on 22), hooker Destiny Brill (20), prop Brianna Clark (18) and Mele Hufanga (17).
Denman was a mainstay of the pack during 2023 averaging 123 running metres from 13 hit ups and 29 tackles per game across the season, which also saw her collect the Most Consistent Award as well as being a joint-winner of the Players’ Player Award with Mele Hufanga.
The blockbusting Hufanga was also winner of Rookie of the Year as well as Play of the Year for her four-try effort in the Round 3 win over the Cowboys in Townsville that kick-started the season for the women’s team.
Other award recipients for the NRLW squad were Captain Brigginshaw for Best Back, Nu’uausala for Best Froward, and Romy Teitzel for Community Service.
For the NRL team, Tristan Sailor won Rookie Of The Year while Reece Walsh received the Allan Langer Award for Best Back.
It caps off Walsh's stellar return season at the Broncos that saw him burst onto the State of Origin stage with a winning debut for the Maroons.
For the Broncos, Walsh played 22 games, scoring nine tries plus 26 try assists, 21 linebreaks and 127 tackle breaks in running for 152 metres per game.
The other two major NRL awards of the night went to Kotoni Staggs for Play of the Year for his length-of-the-field try in the 77th minute that sealed a win in the historic inaugural game against Redcliffe at Suncorp Stadium, and Pat Carrigan for Community Service.
Broncos Clubperson of the Year for 2023 was awarded to Head of Recruitment & Pathways Simon Scanlan for his outstanding work in the development of elite talent and oversight of the club’s playing roster, while Aunty Robyn Lucas won the Community Service Award.
NRL Award Winners
Cyril Connell Award - Rookie of the Year
Kevin Walters Award - Most Consistent
Allan Langer Award - Best Back
Shane Webcke Award - Best Forward
Wally Lewis Award - Play of the Year
Kotoni Staggs (Round 4 Try v Redcliffe)
Community Service Award
Club Person Of The Year
Gary Balkin Award - Players' Player
Paul Morgan Medal - Player of the Year
NRLW Award Winners
Rookie of the Year
Play of the Year
Mele Hufanga (Round 3 four tries v Cowboys)
Mariah Denman & Mele Hufanga
Player of the Year
XXXX Derby Award – Reece Walsh
1000 NRL Goals – Adam Reynolds
Life Member – 10 Years Service – Corey Oates
200 NRL Games For Broncos – Corey Oates
100 NRL Games For Broncos – Payne Haas
100 NRL Games For Broncos – Kotoni Staggs
Departing Bronco – Herbie Farnworth (79 Games For Broncos)
Departing Bronco – Thomas Flegler (96 Games For Broncos)
Departing Bronco – Keenan Palasia (53 Games For Broncos)