Rugby league legend Ellery Hanley to chair revamped Man of Steel scoring panel

Ellery Hanley won the English league title with Wigan as a player and St Helens as a coach
Ellery Hanley won the English league title with Wigan as a player and St Helens as a coach

Rugby league great Ellery Hanley is to head a panel of fellow ex-star players who will form a scoring system to decide the annual Man of Steel award.

The former Bradford Northern, Wigan, Leeds and Great Britain star, 57, the only three-times Man of Steel winner, will chair the panel of ex-players.

Man of Steel was introduced in 1977, before being renamed the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel in 2014.

That was in honour of Prescott's brave battle against a rare form of cancer.

One of 21 as yet unnamed chosen panellists will be present at every Super League game in 2019, and will award scores, which will be made public - of three points, two points and one point to the three outstanding players.

Hanley sees it as an honour to now be made such a key part of the scoring process.

"It's fantastic," he said. "The panel that's been drawn up and the list of players that are actually distributing the points for each game and round. You couldn't pick better players. They've got so much experience. They're knowledgeable and well placed."

Hanley's career of Steel

Ellery Hanley won the majority of his 37 Great Britain caps during his days at Central Park, Wigan
Ellery Hanley won the majority of his 37 Great Britain caps during his days at Central Park, Wigan

Hanley won Man of Steel three times - in 1985, 1987, and 1989 - when he was a key part of Wigan's all-conquering side before heading for hometown club Leeds in 1991.

He ended his playing career in the second of two shifts at Balmain in Australia, where he has also had a short spell with Western Suburbs.

As well as a stint as Great Britain coach in 1994, he also became St Helens coach in 1999, winning Super League at his first attempt.

He has since had a variety of short-term coaching and consultancy roles, including Castleford, Doncaster and one within the England rugby union set-up.

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