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Experts view: 2020 Dally M Medal winner

The race for the 2020 Dally M Medal looks set for a thrilling finale over the final 13 rounds of the regular season.

James Tedesco, who took out the game's greatest individual honour last year, will be challenged by a mix of rising and established stars.

Wests Tigers hooker Harry Grant and Panthers playmaker Nathan Cleary lead the charge for the youngsters, while Jason Taumalolo leads the voting after round seven and will be hoping to add a second Medal to the 2016 award he shared with Cooper Cronk.

The experts at NRL.com have had their say on who they think will be the Dally M winner for 2020.

Experts view

Steve Renouf (Maroons legend)

Definitely Jason Taumalolo. I can't see him slowing down in the near future. Withstanding injury he will dominate for the rest of the season. 

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Jamie Soward (former Blues five-eighth)

I think Nathan Cleary could win the Dally M this year based on his side's recent performances. He has a control about him at the moment that is looking up and a team that's running hard and putting him in the right direction.

Chris Kennedy (NRL.com reporter)

The sweet spot for a Dally M gong is either to be one of the best players in a team that wins all the time or a completely dominant player in a team that wins enough games that you get the 3 and the 2 votes more often than not without too many teammates sharing those points. I'm a bit worried about the Cowboys winning enough games for Jason Taumalolo to win so I'll take Nathan Cleary.

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Paul Suttor (NRL.com editor)

Clint Gutherson does everything for the Eels in attack and defence to the point of exhaustion every week - Parra will keep on winning and he should poll plenty of votes in the lead-up to the finals.

Zac Bailey (NRL.com reporter)

With injuries to Mitch Moses and Cameron Munster, it opens the door for someone like Jack Wighton. If the Raiders can get back to their 2019 form, there will be plenty of opportunity to Wighton to turn in man of the match performances.

Mary Konstantopoulos (Ladies Who League)

If he can remain injury-free, Jason Taumololo will win the Dally M in 2020. It is incredible to think that we expect 300+ run metres from him every week because of how consistent he has been over the last couple of years. He is also in a fortunate position in that he is the Cowboys best player and is likely to get at least one vote every time he plays. 

Troy Whittaker (NRL.com reporter)

Penrith are humming along and such is Nathan Cleary’s influence that he should pick up votes more often than not when they win. Of those around Cleary on the leaderboard, Jason Taumalolo will have to be incredible to maintain his lead if the Cowboys struggle, the uber-talented Harry Grant is still in the infancy of his career and Tom Trbojevic is injured long-term.

Wests Tigers hooker Harry Grant.
Wests Tigers hooker Harry Grant. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

Martin Lenehan (NRL.com senior journalist)

Harry Grant is living up to all the hype at Wests Tigers and his combination with Luke Brooks has been one of the highlights of the post-shutdown era. The young hooker is making plenty of metres out of dummy half, his passing is crisp and he possesses a handy kicking game as well. Already picked up 10 Dally M votes in five games and the best is still to come.

Margie McDonald (NRL.com senior reporter)

Jack Wighton. His strength and skill and game-sense are there for all to see. So he picks up points regularly. But he's now in a team going through a mini-slump, which means as he helps bring the Raiders back to normal transmission he's going to pick up a lot more points.

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Dan Walsh (NRL.com reporter)

James Tedesco. Provided he doesn't spend any more time off the paddock, the new six-again rules and no mid-season Origin have the game's best player primed for more than a couple of three-point Dally M games and back-to-back medals.

Kenny Scott (NRL.com Sunday Session podcaster)

To pick a Dally M winner now is a tough ask. Looking at players with the most influence on their team and are therefore in a better spot to attract maximum points per game, there are two contenders; Tom Trbojevic and Harry Grant. Seeing as Turbo is out of the game for a while the Tigers special guest star is the man most likely.

Joel Gould (NRL.com reporter)

Rookie Wests Tigers rake Harry Grant is so involved, so crafty and so consistent that he is going to keep picking up points on a regular basis throughout the year. Grant is only going to get better too and I can envisage him just edging out Jason Taumalolo for the Dally M medal.   

Tanisha Stanton (NRL.com reporter)

Good luck to anyone who stop the roll of Jason Taumalolo. It's no surprise that he's at the top of the Dally M leader board with the attitude and effort he displays every week. It will be interesting to see if they Eels big forward pack can tame the Cowboys steamroller this weekend.

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Brad Walter (NRL.com senior reporter)

Nathan Cleary. The NSW Origin halfback has been in top form since returning from suspension three weeks ago to lead the Panthers to second on the ladder. Cleary looks comfortable as Penrith's senior playmaker and will be a key figure in their success this season.

Alicia Newton (NRL.com reporter)

Penrith are the surprise packets of the season and when they've been on, Nathan Cleary has been one of their best. He missed a fortnight through suspension but sits comfortably in equal third spot on nine points and has taken full responsibility of the team's attack. His biggest teammate rival, Api Koroisau, is five points behind. At the current rate, Cleary will go close to the medal.

Lone Scout (NRL.com Fantasy guru)

Nathan Cleary gets my vote. He's just two points off the top of the Dally M leaderboard after seven rounds despite missing a couple of matches, and is the only fit player in the top five whose team is certain to finish in the top half of the table. With no experienced halves partner this year and with his Origin spot on the line, Cleary needs to be a dominant force for Penrith this season and if he continues his early-season form there's no reason why he can't add a Dally M gong or two to his name by the end of the year.

 

The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARL Commission, NRL clubs or state associations.