Cronulla Sharks five-eighth Jack Bird has capped an outstanding debut season by being named the Rookie of the Year at the Dally M awards on Monday night.
An unforgettable NRL debut against heavyweights the Sydney Roosters in round five was quickly followed by his first representative jersey for Country after just five first grade games.
The 20-year-old formed a dangerous combination down Cronulla’s right edge with Gerard Beale and Valentine Holmes that helped lead the Sharks to within two games of the grand final after they surged home to finish sixth.
Bird said he hadn’t expected to walk away with the honour.
‘‘You look at the other blokes I was against and there was [Cameron] Munster and [Tom] Trbojevic,’’ he said.
‘‘They’re all good players so I was surprised.
‘‘I wasn’t really expecting it but I was really happy.’’
It was a good night for the Sharks at the Dally Ms, as hooker Michael Ennis finished tied second for the major Dally M player of the year award and scored the hooker of the year title.
Ennis was also one of the four finalists for the Ken Stephen Medal, while Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan was nominated for coach of the year.
See Thursday’s Leader for the full story and click here to see red carpet shots.