Three Australians in their first full season in the English Super League are on the five-strong shortlist for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel.
Former Canberra star Blake Austin (Warrington), former Penrith and North Queensland star Lachlan Coote (St Helens) and former Sydney Roosters and Many star Jackson Hastings (Salford) are all in line for the most prestigious individual award in Super League, along with Castleford prop Liam Watts and Wigan stand-off George Williams.
When voting went behind closed doors after round 22, Austin and Hastings were tied for the lead and since then Austin has played only twice due to injury.
Selection panel chairman Ellery Hanley, the only player to win three Man of Steel awards, said: "The panellists have been lucky to have witnessed first-hand some exceptional performances this season.
"The five guys in contention have been pivotal to their team's success and for that they deserve recognition for outstanding seasons but only one person can win."
The winner will be announced at an awards night at the Lowry Theatre, Salford Quays, on October 6.
The Telegraph Woman of Steel will also be confirmed at the event with Kelsey Gentles (Castleford), Courtney Hill (Leeds) and Emily Rudge (St Helnes) the players nominated.
Australian Associated Press