Smith wins Storm top gong for eighth time

Melissa WoodsAAP
Cameron Smith has capped off another Melbourne NRL title by being named their player of the year.
Camera IconCameron Smith has capped off another Melbourne NRL title by being named their player of the year.

Captain Cameron Smith has been named Melbourne's NRL player of the year for an incredible eighth time, capping the Storm's premiership success.

The ageless hooker first won the award 15 years ago with his seventh coming in 2017.

But his consistency in 2020, which resulted in him finishing fourth in the Dally M medal despite missing four matches, was rewarded with another individual honour.

Smith, 37, is still to announce whether he will play on for a 20th season next year.

The Storm troops gathered on Tuesday night at the Sunshine Coast Convention Centre at Twin Waters, where players and coaching staff celebrated their latest premiership victory.

Isaac Lumelume was awarded the Cooper Cronk feeder player of the year award, recognising his efforts on the training track which earned him his NRL debut in round 16.

The Fiji international switched from Cronulla to Melbourne midway through 2019 and played on the wing in three first-grade games this year.

Young prop Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, who is headed to Gold Coast, won the Billy Slater rookie of the year award, which came on top of his Queensland State of Origin squad selection.

Other award winners included centre Justin Olam as most improved, Brandon Smith the best forward, while Clive Churchill Medallist and NSW Origin selection Ryan Papenhuyzen was named as best back and members player of the year.

The Storm's Origin players will leave the club's Sunshine Coast hub on Wednesday to go into their respective state team camps.

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