The Clive Churchill Medal is the award given to the player judged to be man-of-the-match in the National Rugby League's annual Grand Final. The award was created to honour Clive Churchill, one of the greatest rugby league players in Australian history, following his death in 1985. A prestigious honour in the NRL, the medal's recipient is chosen by the selectors of the Australian national team and announced and awarded at the post-grand final ceremony.

Clive Churchill Medal
2023 medal winner Nathan Cleary
LeagueNational Rugby League
Awarded forThe man-of-the-match in the NRL Grand Final
First award1986 (contemporary)
1954 (retrospective)
First winnerPeter Sterling (contemporary)
Clive Churchill (retrospective)
Most winsNorm Provan (3)
Most recentNathan Cleary (2023)

The Clive Churchill Medal has been awarded ever since the 1986 NSWRL season when its first recipient was Parramatta's Peter Sterling. It was initially presented in a case until 2000 where it is presented separately with a ribbon being worn around the neck. The only three players to have won the award more than once are Canberra's Bradley Clyde (1989 and 1991), Melbourne Storm's Billy Slater (2009 and 2017) and Penrith Panther's Nathan Cleary (2021 and 2023) . In 2010, the Melbourne Storm were stripped of the 2007 and 2009 premierships due to salary cap breaches exposed by the NRL, however the Clive Churchill Medallists from those years still continue to be recognised.

The medal has only been awarded to a member of the losing grand final team on four occasions. Bradley Clyde in 1991, Brad Mackay (St George) in 1993, Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly) in 2013, and Jack Wighton (Canberra Raiders) in 2019.

Churchill, who the medal was named after, played for and later coached the South Sydney Rabbitohs, played interstate football for both New South Wales and Queensland, and also played for, captained and coached the Australian Kangaroos.

List of recipients

Table key
^ Player was member of losing team
Table of recipients
Year Recipient Team Position Ref
1986 Peter Sterling   Parramatta Eels Halfback
1987 Cliff Lyons   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Five-eighth
1988 Paul Dunn   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Prop
1989 Bradley Clyde (1)   Canberra Raiders Lock
1990 Ricky Stuart   Canberra Raiders Halfback
1991 Bradley Clyde^ (2)   Canberra Raiders Lock
1992 Allan Langer   Brisbane Broncos Halfback
1993 Brad Mackay^   St George Dragons Lock
1994 David Furner   Canberra Raiders Second-row
1995 Jim Dymock   Sydney Bulldogs Lock
1996 Geoff Toovey   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Halfback
1997 Robbie O'Davis   Newcastle Knights Fullback
1998 Gorden Tallis   Brisbane Broncos Second-row [1]
1999 Brett Kimmorley   Melbourne Storm Halfback
2000 Darren Lockyer   Brisbane Broncos Fullback
2001 Andrew Johns   Newcastle Knights Halfback
2002 Craig Fitzgibbon   Sydney Roosters Second-row
2003 Luke Priddis   Penrith Panthers Hooker [2]
2004 Willie Mason   Bulldogs Prop
2005 Scott Prince   Wests Tigers Halfback [3]
2006 Shaun Berrigan   Brisbane Broncos Hooker [4]
2007 Greg Inglis   Melbourne Storm Five-eighth
2008 Brent Kite   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Prop [5]
2009 Billy Slater (1)   Melbourne Storm Fullback
2010 Darius Boyd   St. George Illawarra Dragons Fullback [6]
2011 Glenn Stewart   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Lock [7]
2012 Cooper Cronk   Melbourne Storm Halfback
2013 Daly Cherry-Evans^   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Halfback
2014 Sam Burgess   South Sydney Rabbitohs Lock
2015 Johnathan Thurston   North Queensland Cowboys Halfback
2016 Luke Lewis   Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Second-row
2017 Billy Slater (2)   Melbourne Storm Fullback [8]
2018 Luke Keary   Sydney Roosters Five-eighth [9]
2019 Jack Wighton^   Canberra Raiders Five-eighth [10]
2020 Ryan Papenhuyzen   Melbourne Storm Fullback [11]
2021 Nathan Cleary   Penrith Panthers Halfback [12]
2022 Dylan Edwards   Penrith Panthers Fullback [13]
2023 Nathan Cleary (2)   Penrith Panthers Halfback

Retrospective awards


As part of the Centenary of League celebrations in 2008, the Clive Churchill Medal has been retrospectively awarded for man-of-the-match performances from season 1954, the first to feature mandatory grand finals. The first recipient from the 1954 season is the man for which the award was originally named, Clive Churchill.[14]

Despite claims to the contrary at the time of the announcement of the retrospective medals that there had not been Man Of The Match awards for Grand Finals prior to 1986, this was not the case - there had been the Dave Brown Medal awarded at some stage, and, according to the NSWRL's official match day program, a new prize was awarded in 1971, with the winner named by reporters covering the game ([citation needed] (the first was won by South Sydney's Ron Coote). In 1972 the award went to Manly half back Dennis Ward, and the following year, to Manly's Bob Fulton. In 1974, Arthur Beetson won the press writers award, and in 1975 it was Ian Schubert. The retrospective Clive Churchill Medals - either by coincidence or design - reflect those award winners.

In the replayed grand finals of 1977 and 1978, the award was based on efforts over the course of both games, although Manly-Warringah's Graham Eadie was a clear choice in 1978 after a dominating performance from fullback in the Grand Final replay.

Table key
^ Player was member of losing team
Table of recipients
Year Recipient Team Position
1954 Clive Churchill   South Sydney Rabbitohs Fullback
1955 Jack Rayner   South Sydney Rabbitohs Second row
1956 Kevin Brown   St George Dragons Prop
1957 Norm Provan (1)   St George Dragons Second row
1958 Norm Provan (2)   St George Dragons Second row
1959 Peter Provan   St George Dragons Lock
1960 Monty Porter   St George Dragons Second row
1961 Brian Clay   St George Dragons Five-eighth
1962 Ian Walsh   St George Dragons Hooker
1963 Norm Provan (3)   St George Dragons Second row
1964 Graeme Langlands   St George Dragons Fullback
1965 Kevin Ryan   St George Dragons Prop
1966 John Raper   St George Dragons Lock
1967 Les Johns^   Canterbury-Bankstown Fullback
1968 Eric Simms   South Sydney Rabbitohs Fullback
1969 Dave Bolton   Balmain Tigers Five-eighth
1970 Bob Grant   South Sydney Rabbitohs Halfback
1971 Ron Coote   South Sydney Rabbitohs Lock
1972 Dennis Ward   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Halfback
1973 Bob Fulton   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Centre
1974 Arthur Beetson   Eastern Suburbs Roosters Prop
1975 Ian Schubert   Eastern Suburbs Roosters Fullback
1976 Graham Eadie (1)   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Fullback
1977 Craig Young   St George Dragons Prop
1978 Graham Eadie (2)   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Fullback
1979 Steve Morris   St George Dragons Halfback
1980 Steve Gearin   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Wing
1981 Bob O'Reilly   Parramatta Eels Prop
1982 Brett Kenny (1)   Parramatta Eels Five-eighth
1983 Brett Kenny (2)   Parramatta Eels Five-eighth
1984 Peter Kelly   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Prop
1985 Steve Mortimer   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Halfback

Multiple winners


The following players have won the Clive Churchill Medal multiple times.

Medals Player Team Seasons
3 Norm Provan St George 1957*, 1958*, 1963*
2 Graham Eadie Manly-Warringah 1976*, 1978*
Brett Kenny Parramatta 1982*, 1983*
Bradley Clyde Canberra 1989, 1991
Billy Slater Melbourne 2009, 2017
Nathan Cleary Penrith 2021, 2023

* Retrospective medals.

See also



  1. ^ Mascord, Steve (28 September 1998). "Embarrassed, dizzy Tallis says every player should be given a medal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax. p. 22. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  2. ^ Massoud, Josh (2 September 2010). "St George Illawarra hooker Luke Priddis to retire at end of season". Herald Sun. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Tigers claim historic premiership". 2 October 2005. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  4. ^ Stevenson, Andrew (2 October 2006). "Medal for the quiet achiever". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  5. ^ "Clive Churchill Medallist Brent Kite flies high in NRL grand final". The Courier-Mail. 5 October 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  6. ^ Chammas, Michael (4 October 2010). "2010 Clive Churchill winner Darius Boyd". Illawarra Mercury. Australia: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  7. ^ AAP (2 October 2011). "Hasler praises Churchill winner Stewart". ABC News. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  8. ^ Glover, Ben (1 October 2017). "NRL 2017 grand final: Billy Slater wins Clive Churchill Medal for the second time". News Corporation Australia. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  9. ^ McDonald, Margie (30 September 2018). "'Two-position' Keary wins Clive Churchill Medal". Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  10. ^ Walsh, Dan (6 October 2019). "'Numbest I've ever felt': Wighton wins Clive Churchill Medal". Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  11. ^ De Silva, Chris (25 October 2020). "Ryan Papenhuyzen claims Clive Churchill Medal as Melbourne Storm take out NRL Grand Final". Nine's Wide World of Sport. Nine Media. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  12. ^ "Penrith co-captain Nathan Cleary wins Clive Churchill Medal after Panthers claim 2021 premiership". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 3 October 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  13. ^ Tackle, Zero (2 October 2022). "2022 Clive Churchill Medal winner announced". Zero Tackle. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  14. ^ James Dampney (1 October 2008). "Greats to get man-of-match awards". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). Retrieved 3 January 2008.