Not even an unprecedented season including life inside a restrictive "bubble" could stop countless NRL players from making a big difference in their communities in 2020.
And the extensive work of 14 players has been deservedly recognised by their clubs with a nomination for the Ken Stephen Medal, won by Raiders veteran Sia Soliola last year, as part of the NRL Kayo Community Awards.
The candidates for this year's prestigious honour, proudly brought to you by My Property Consultant, are:
- Adam Elliott
- Kyle Feldt
- Reed Mahoney
- Connor Watson
- Martin Taupau
- James Tamou
- Cody Walker
- Angus Crichton
- Jarrod Croker
- Ronaldo Mulitalo
- Dale Finucane
- Chris Lawrence
- Dale Copley
- Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
"I've been really impressed by the ongoing willingness to contribute and give back to the communities that cheer them on," NRL head of government and community relations Jaymes Boland-Rudder said.
A panel featuring inaugural 1988 Ken Stephen Medallist and ARL Commissioner Wayne Pearce will decide three finalists, with fans to determine the fourth through an NRL.com poll
Voting is open until Sunday, September 20. The finalists for the Ken Stephen Medal, proudly brought to you by My Property Consultant, will be announced as part of the Telstra Premiership finals series.
The winner will be revealed on grand final day along with the Veronica White Medal (NRLW) recipient.
Sia Soliola receives the 2019 Ken Stephen Medal from Wayne Pearce. ?Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos "When I think about this year, it's been a year marked by things that we've never experienced before," Boland-Rudder said.
"Whether it be the terrible drought and bushfires over that off-season break and the way our players stood up, giving up their time.
"Whether it be a James Tamou who was personally on the frontline fighting fires or a Dale Finucane who was gathering together players to go and rebuild fences up around his home town of Bega.
"They were just remarkable indiv