Blue Mountains Rugby centre Joel Togo has taken out the acclaimed Barraclough Medal.
Playing in first grade in second division of the NSW Suburban Rugby competition, the 22-year-old beat 80 competitors to be named the best player at an award ceremony in Sydney on September 22.
“I’m pretty happy,” Togo, a financial broker, said.
“It wasn’t something that I was ever striving to get.”
He follows in the footsteps of Blueys player Danny Kroll from Glenbrook, who won the award last year.
Blue Mountains Rugby life member Jeff Lalchere said Togo’s talent was evident from an early age.
“As a junior he was tremendous,” Lalchere said.
“He works very hard and has the ability to break tackles. He’s outstanding in defence and attack. He can read a game.”
Raised in Jamisontown, Togo decided to join his mates and travel up the mountain to play junior rugby with the Blue Tongues. He progressed to the Colts, playing two seasons of representative rugby with the Subbies Colts squad.
Lalchere said Togo had won the Barraclough Medal by a record margin, seven points clear of his nearest rival from the Hills.
“[Joel] has had a huge year in the top grade with Blue Mountains in 2017, gaining the respect of both his teammates, the opposition and the referees as well. There is little doubt, if he chose to, he has the ability and mindset to go on to bigger things in rugby,” Lalchere said.