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The award was presented at the Rugby League Players' Association ceremony in Sydney. Slater also took out the RLPA's representative player of the year award.
The eight players nominated for the award, in alphabetical order, were: Greg Inglis (Melbourne Storm and Australia); Brent Kite (Manly Sea Eagles and Australia); Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers and New Zealand); Jamie Peacock (Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain&Ireland); Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm and Australia); Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm and Australia); Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys and Australia); Manu Vatuvei (NZ Warriors and New Zealand).
Slater's team mate Cameron Smith took out the award in 2007.