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GASNIER AND RYLES SHARE 2006 ST GEORGE BANK MEDAL
6th October 2006
St George Illawarra Centre Mark Gasnier and Prop Jason Ryles have tonight jointly won the prestigious St George Bank Medal for Player of the Year at the Clubs Medal Award presentation evening at Sydney Town Hall.
It is the first time the Club?s highest honour has been jointly awarded, with Ryles also becoming the first player to win the prestigious award twice; having also won the award in 2001.
Gasnier, 25 was the Dragons leading try scorer throughout 2006 crossing for 18 tries in the regular season. He was recognised for his efforts by also being awarded the Dally M Centre of the Year, NSW State of Origin selection and Kangaroos Tri-Nations squad selection.
Ryles was the Clubs Premier front rower throughout the season and charged home in the closing rounds of the competition to draw level with Gasnier on points. The achievement even more remarkable given the local junior played only 15 of the regular season games season due to injury.
The club's highest honour won previously by Luke Bailey (2005), Mathew Head (2004), Ben Hornby (2003), Shaun Timmins (2002), Jason Ryles (2001), Trent Barrett (2000), Jamie Ainscough (1999) - is determined by a complex criteria including a voting system involving the first grade players and coaching staff, and qualitative factors taken into account by the Club.
Ben Hornby was another standout throughout 2006 and was the only player to play in every game throughout the season. The versatile Hornby who was rewarded with NSW Origin and Test selection captured the highly sort after St George Bank Immortals Trophy, as selected by the St George Immortals in consultation with the coaching staff and the Red V Members Player of the Year Award.
Although his season was unfortunately cut short by injury, Dean Young took out the Geoff Selby Memorial NRL Coaches Award, as chosen by the NRL coaching staff. Young?s attitude and application at training and consistent performances in games prior to his season ending, proved to the coaching staff that he was a worthy recipient of this award.
Premier League captain Chris Houston took out the 2006 Mark Coyne Premier League Player of the Year Award. The tireless Prop led the side admirably throughout the season playing in all but one match.
Exciting young fullback Jason Nightingale's safety in defence and flair in attack, scoring 18 tries in 19 appearances saw him capture the Paul McGregor Jersey Flegg Player of the Year.
2006 DRAGONS AWARD WINNERS
Mark Gasnier/Jason Ryles - St George Bank Medal
Ben Hornby - St George Bank Immortals Trophy
Dean Young - Geoff Selby Memorial NRL Coaches Award
Ben Hornby - Red V Members Player of the Year
Chris Houston - Mark Coyne Award Premier League Player of the Year
Jason Nightingale - Paul McGregor Award Jersey Flegg Player of the Year