Cornwall RLFC

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Rugby Football League Awards 2023

October 11, 2023

General manager John Beach, head coach Mike Abbott, Tom Ashton and Sam Gilder at Emirates Old Trafford – SWPix

Cornwall RLFC head coach Mike Abbott, players and club staff were present at the Rugby Football League’s Awards Evening for 2023 yesterday.

The glittering event was held at Emirates Old Trafford with Abbott nominated for the Betfred League 1 Coach of the Year award.

For Abbott to receive a nomination, in just the Choughs’ second season, demonstrates the continued progress that Cornwall RLFC are making on and off the pitch, both here in the Duchy and throughout rugby league also.

Abbott was on a three-person shortlist alongside Workington Town’s popular coach Anthony Murray and Dewsbury Rams’ Liam Finn.

It was Finn who picked up the honour, his last act with the Rams before he joins Halifax Panthers for 2024.

Dewsbury, who topped the League 1 standings in 2023 and were automatically promoted back to the second tier after just one year away, also saw their livewire hooker Reiss Butterworth awarded the League One Player of the Year. The Young Player of the Year was won by Workington Town half back Ciaran Walker.

Head coach Mike Abbott and his wife Sam at Emirates Old Trafford – SWPix

Rugby league luminaries Ellery Hanley, Paul Sculthorpe and Iestyn Harris were among those to present awards at the evening, hosted by Sky Sports duo Brian Carney and Jenna Brooks alongside the BBC’s Tanya Arnold.

The evenings top awards, the Steve Prescott MBE Man, Woman and Wheels of Steel were won by Wigan’s Bevan French, York’s Sinead Peach and Lewis King of the London Roosters respectively.

King, who hails from Dartford, was one of three Kent-born winners on the night with his coach at the Roosters Tom Coyd claiming the Wheelchair Coach of the Year award. Maidstone’s Bill Leyland, who plies his trade with Championship side London Broncos, was the second tier’s Young Player of the Year.

It was a clean sweep for the Broncos in the Championship with coach Mike Eccles winning the Coach of the Year gong, while Dean Parata shared the Player award with Halifax’s prolific try scoring machine Lachlan Walmsley.

In Super League, Warrington’s Josh Thewlis was Young Player of the Year while Leigh Leopards’ Adrian Lam was rewarded for masterminding his side’s Betfred Challenge Cup triumph with the Coach of the Year Award.

Jake Lloyd, head of media and communication Gareth Davies and Harry Aaronson at Emirates Old Trafford – SWPix

The Women’s Super League Coach of the Year was York’s Lindsay Anfield and Young Player of the Year went to Leeds Rhinos’ Caitlin Casey.

The Headingley side also triumphed in the Young Wheelchair Player of the Year award with Josh Butler coming out on top.

As had been previously announced before the event, the Glen’s Spirit of Super League award went to the family of Rob Burrow MBE. The former Leeds half back, who is bravely battled motor neurone disease, was in attendance in Manchester.

Finally, the Foundation of the Year was awarded to Barrow Raiders, with Leigh and York highly commended also.