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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 21:13 GMT 22:13 UK
Wellens wins Man of Steel award
Paul Wellens
Wellens has scored more than 100 tries for St Helens
St Helens and Great Britain full-back Paul Wellens was crowned Super League Man of Steel in Manchester on Monday.

Wellens, 26, also won the players' player award and was named as full-back in the Super League Dream Team for the second successive season.

Saints boss Daniel Anderson was named Super League coach of the year in his first full season in England.

And prop James Graham, 21, completed a Saints hat-trick by claiming the young player title.

The Man of Steel Award, decided by a panel of journalists and coaches, goes to the player adjudged to have made the greatest impact on the domestic season.

Wellens is the fifth St Helens winner of the prestigious prize in seven years.

Scrum-half Sean Long won it in 2000, loose forward Paul Sculthorpe won it in 2001 and 2002 and centre Jamie Lyon was last year's winner.

Working with Daniel Anderson has really improved me and I'm really enjoying my rugby

Man of Steel Paul Wellens

Wellens said he had produced the best form of his career this year and put the improvement down to new coach Anderson.

"I've been pretty happy with my form over the last couple of years but I think I've added a bit more to my game this year," he said.

"Working with Daniel day in, day out on certain little aspects has really improved me and I'm really enjoying my rugby at the moment."

Wellens received the unique trophy and a cheque for 5,000 at a ceremony at The Midland Hotel in Manchester.

His nearest rivals were Leeds forward Gareth Ellis and Castleford captain Danny Nutley, who became the first player to win both the "metre-maker" and "hit man" awards in the same season.

Nutley, who is returning to Australia to play for Sydney Roosters next season, made 3,372m this year and pulled off 1,001 tackles.

Saints boss Anderson hopes to add the Super League title to the Challenge Cup and League Leaders' Shield already in the Knowsley Road trophy cabinet on Saturday.

He won his award ahead of fellow nominees Brian Noble (Wigan) and Karl Harrison (Salford).

Graham beat team-mate James Roby and Wigan full-back Chris Ashton for the young player title.

Richard Silverwood of Mirfield was voted Powergen referee of the year.



SEE ALSO
St Helens 12-8 Hull
29 Sep 06 |  Super League
Saints top Dream Team nominations
18 Sep 06 |  Super League
Huddersfield 12-42 St Helens
26 Aug 06 |  Challenge Cup


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